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The coming of Jesus: Four things to expect from new Manchester City forward

Friday 2nd December 2016
Manchester City's newest acquisition, Gabriel Jesus, has arrived at the club. The 19-year-old was signed from Palmeiras in August for around £27m but remained at the Allianz Parque until the end of the season.

Jesus leaves Palmeiras a champion, having spearheaded their remarkable assault on the Brazilian championship. His exploits in front of goal helped Cuca's side to their first domestic title in 22 years thus becoming the most successful club in the country's history with nine trophies. The youngsters' last game was a 1-0 win over Chapecoense, just one day before the majority of the Santa Catarina club's players and staff were killed in a plane crash in Colombia.
Aside from his exploits at club level, Jesus has also excelled for his country. He is set to spend a few days in Manchester, meeting his new teammates and watching Saturday's clash with Chelsea at the Etihad before flying back to Brazil for Palmeiras' final game of the campaign against Vitoria on 11 December. All things being equal, Jesus could make his debut in City's home Premier League match against Burnley on 2 January.

Just like many other Brazilians, Jesus arrives with so much prospect and expectation bearing in mind the Premier League hasn't particularly been a favourable destination for his countrymen. Will the 19-year-old be another high-profile flop in the English top tier? Or will he leave a memorable impression just like compatriots, Gilberto Silva, Juninho and Philippe Coutinho?

Here are four things to look out for when the youngster finally begins his Premier League sojourn with City.

1 - Goals

Obviously, City's motive of bringing  Jesus to the Etihad is to ease the goalscoring burden on Sergio Aguero. The 19-year-old struck 56 goals for Palmeiras' youth team in 2015 and notched 16 more this year. The youngster who is now Tite's first choice striker has scored four goals for the national team and grabbed three as they clinched their first Olympic football gold medal.

"He is a minor piece like Kelechi [Iheanacho] and Sergio [Aguero]," Pep Guardiola said in August. "Right when the ball is there, it's a goal. He has the inclination objective. So we buy destinations. It is troublesome today. What's more, a man who worked honestly to goodness changes behind the line."

2 - Flexibility



City coach, Pep Guardiola, is known for his expertise to experiment with his players and tactics. And the arrival of Jesus could trigger more of his tinkering especially in attack considering the player's versatility. Jesus started his career out wide but has come into his own through the middle over the last few months. Meaning he is technically adept to playing as the lone striker or anywhere behind the point man considering his blistering pace and superb work ethic.

3 - On field Burst-up



This is one attribute many City fans wouldn't like to see. With all his talent, Jesus just like many other top footballers today has anger management issues. The 19-year-old was sent off in April for fighting during a match against Rosario Central . He recently used foul language to describe an opponent for being too hard on him in a game.

“I told him it was not a thing for men. That he's an asshole,” Jesus said live on Brazilian TV in November. “I'm the one who's 19 years old and it seems he's the boy.”

4 - Trophies

Jesus has enjoyed an absolutely flourishing career despite only making his professional debut in March last year. The 19-year-old added the league title to the Brazilian Cup he won in 2015 both with Palmeiras. He was also part of the Brazil squad that won Gold at the Olympics and clinched silver before that at the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup.

"Here in Brazil, I got the habit of winning titles,” Jesus confessed. “Now I hope there are much more to celebrate in the future."
Toby Prince

If the sport has 11-men on each side, a ball and lasts for 90 minutes then I'll write about it. Simply put, I'm an unrepentant soccer freak that other freaks will, however, call a geek. I do find time for music when not watching the beautiful game, though and have been known to produce the odd track. 


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