A prolific goal-scoring rate is only one part of the game for Gabriel Jesus, the Brazilian also has a prolific work rate that could make him a world-beater
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been dominating world football for years – and maybe many more to come – but as the two giants keep getting older, it is likely that new stars will emerge and take their place on the big stage. Several rising talents are competing to be the next protagonists, and one of them, is Brazil’s Gabriel Jesus. Is the new Manchester City signee just a poacher inside the box, or is there much more to the forward’s game?
Gabriel Jesus’ rise over the past two years has been nothing short of phenomenal. The youngster has quickly completed the transition from Palmeiras and Brazil under 20’s ranks, straight to the first team, guiding both club and country to key victories – all while playing a major role.
His transfer to England was no surprise for anyone in Brazil. But the question is, how good can Gabriel become, and what kind of striker should we expect to witness as the final product, after being nurtured for a couple of years under the guidance of Pep Guardiola?
The Spanish tactician has always been known for disliking specialists, especially for the number nine role. He is not someone who will be satisfied with a static player who only converts crosses into goals, like a typical target man used to do a couple of decades ago. Kun Aguero knows that all too well. Football has evolved, and the need for different approaches is necessary in order to maintain long term success.
Guardiola said that Manchester City “has bought goals”, the day they signed Jesus. Despite being an excellent finisher who has so far lived up to his reputation by averaging a goal involvement every 60 minutes of football, Gabriel offers way more than just that.
As a matter of fact, the youngster has excelled and was the best player for Brazil’s U-20’s in the World Cup, while being deploying as a natural winger with the freedom to carry the ball. He has played several games at Palmeiras in a wider and deeper role than that of a classic target man. It will perhaps take Jesus more time to adapt to life in England, before he can replicate the dribbles and skills reminiscent of his time in Brazil.
South American Sergio Agüero is already a club idol for City, and rightly so. But football is about the moment, and Guardiola has often shown that he does not care about a player’s reputation and is ready to drop anyone for the sake of the collective unit. This is where Gabriel emerges with his athleticism, dynamism, energy and explosiveness. The Brazil international is hungry to prove himself, and works hard on the pitch by applying pressure or by fighting in every duel as if it was a World Cup final.
In Brazil, Gabriel gained the reputation of being a hard worker, ready to sacrifice everything on the pitch to guarantee his team’s success. Life in the English Premier League promises to be even more physical, but the new face of Brazilian football has never run away from a challenge. The Seleção has been dying to find Ronaldo’s legitimate heir, will Guardiola help turn his new wonder-kid to the complete central forward that Brazil fans are craving?