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Gabriel Jesus Thriving in No-pressure Zone

A star could have been born.

Chelsea v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

The dust is yet to settle as debates continue concerning Manchester City’s need for a striker.

Missing out on Harry Kane was seen by many as a huge blow to the club’s aspirations of continuing its dominance on the home front. It is considered a significant setback in the quest to make a mark on the continent.

Pep Guardiola still had to answer questions about the need for a striker after drawing blanks against Southampton. Although the manager admitted that a striker will be needed for the long-term, he has often stressed his satisfaction with the current squad. And it’s understandable.

There are goalscorers spread across the City front line and midfield. From Riyad Mahrez to Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, Ferran Torres and Phil Foden, anyone can come through with the match winner on a difficult day.

The likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva also contribute their fair share. Oftentimes that blows teams away as has happened in several games this season. The result is that the pressure to be the go-to man for goals is taken off Gabriel Jesus’ shoulders.

The Brazilian’s recent performances show that is proving to be liberating. He can now operate from the wings thus evading media scrutiny. The one-time heir apparent to Sergio Aguero is no more the focal point when talking about Man City’s goal-scoring efforts.

With the weight of expectations lifted from his shoulders the 24-year-old now plays freely and contributes even more to the team’s success. He has been one of the outstanding players in the team this season with both goals and assists. His performance has drawn praise from his manager.

Guardiola has been particularly impressed with his work rate and sang his praise after the Chelsea game. Jesus’ well taken strike settled the encounter at Stamford Bridge taking the team to second place on the league table.

“Gabriel [Jesus] always gives everything. You cannot say anything to him. Every single game he runs for his team-mates. Having these types of players makes me so happy,” Guardiola said in the post match interview.

With three goals and assists in his last six games for City, the forward is enjoying a rich vein of form. His confidence is growing, even as the team is moving towards taking control of the title race.

Talk of Jesus filling the big shoes left behind by Aguero has been relegated to the background. The task of goal-scoring is now a team effort and that’s producing the desired results. In eight games this season, the team has scored 28 goals.

That’s the most of any side in England so far. Title rivals Chelsea and Manchester United have registered half of City’s total each while Tottenham have managed just 10. To think that they all have top strikers!

Only table toppers Liverpool come close with 21, thanks to the combined effort mainly of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. But with Jesus and City beginning to find their rhythm, it promises to be a very fruitful campaign for the Blues.