There is no doubt that Manchester City are finding their mojo in the Premier League once again with the turn of the year, and one man in particular seems to be relishing the prospect of being awarded more game time as a result of the team’s recent successes.
The diminutive Brazilian in question has now scored seven goals in his last three appearances for City; netting against Rotherham once, Burton on four occasions, and now most recently against Wolves where he managed to grab himself a brace. These seven goals have helped the Blues reach a whopping ninety nine goals in all competitions this season so far, however more importantly for Jesus, his recent performances have now seemingly cemented his place leading the line in City’s squad indefinitely. Aguero was kept on the bench for the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers, allowing Jesus to stand in the spotlight once again, and City fans will be feeling like he needs the attention now more than ever – as prior to the Burton Albion game, Jesus was evidently struggling in front of goal.
In fact before the Burton tie had kicked off, Jesus had only managed to register two goals in his last fourteen Premier League appearances; both of which were scored in City’s 3-1 home win against Everton back in December. Even during the Champions League group stages, he had only managed to score in one game of the four that he appeared in. The fact however that that game in which he did score was a 6-0 drumming of Shakhtar Donetsk, coupled with the fact that Jesus’ efforts accounted for half of those six goals that evening does undoubtably show his pedigree, and that he is without a shadow of a doubt a talented, skillful and valuable player amongst City’s collection of superstars. His present hints of a resurgence of form again in the Premier League has come at the right time too, with City again finding themselves only four points behind leaders Liverpool, Pep will be looking towards his key influencers to prove themselves in the games that lie ahead – and there is no reason why Jesus’ name cannot be spoken in the same vain as the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, and Sergio Aguero.
Going forward, it will be extremely interesting to see whether Jesus is able to maintain his position in City’s starting eleven. As the likes of Sergio Aguero remain sidelined, there is no better time for Jesus to show his worth to Guardiola than now. Pep has obviously seen a new confidence in the young Brazilian, as evidenced by his flurry of starts for the club in recent weeks. This decision to start Gabriel in the last three games may have been a tactical decision enforced by Guardiola, as there is no question of Jesus’s ability when it comes to both build up, and hold up play. The game against Rotherham was a great example of this, where on many occasions, Jesus was able to dribble his way out of what would normally be considered to be tricky situations, and then play the ball down the channels to either Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sané, or Rhyiad Mahrez – all of which are able to both set up, and finish chances; similar to Jesus himself.
So with all of this analysis aside, why is Jesus getting the nod over Aguero seemingly more frequently now than ever before – even though the latter is perfectly fit and able to play? Well, the answer could actually quite simple; if a striker is in form and scoring goals, why wouldn’t he be chosen to play each game. Naturally we know that Jesus is probably not going to start every game from now until the end of the season for City, but that is not what makes a striker successful. Developing their goal scoring consistency and confidence is the key to a becoming a top, top player – and that is exactly what the young Jesus is doing. He is working hard, scoring goals, and helping his team reach great results in each of the games in which he features. This is what is helping to shape Jesus’ character and ability, and this is development is absolutely priceless to both him individually, and to Manchester City as a football club.
As a City fan myself, I know that when Jesus is in form, he is a force to be reckoned with. And when the time comes that he is not able to consistently bag two goals a game, I can be safe in the knowledge that Sergio Aguero will be on the sidelines waiting to come on and take the reigns again. Sergio is not going to be at City forever, but there is a good chance that our little Brazilian could be – and with the way he is playing at the moment, I welcome that prospect with open arms.