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Gabriel Jesus' admission to Pep Guardiola could explain lack of Man City chances


Jesus has spent most of the season playing out wide, a far cry from what the Brazil international was tipped for – to replace Sergio Aguero as Manchester City’s main striker

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Pep Guardiola post match Southampton

Gabriel Jesus ‘ admission to Pep Guardiola could explain his lack of chances at Manchester City.

The 24-year-old joined the Citizens in January 2017 and was tipped to be Sergio Aguero ‘s long-term heir up front.

But in the first season without the legendary Argentine at the Etihad Stadium, Jesus is yet to start a single match in the central striking role.

It follows a campaign in which Pep Guardiola and co lifted the Premier League title without a recognised striker consistently playing.

Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling all featured prominently in the false nine role, each of them outscoring the former Palmeiras star.

But the reason why Jesus has been left out wide for much of this term has reportedly been revealed.








Jesus’ positional preference could explain his lack of chances as a striker
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Image:

Offside via Getty Images)



The Daily Mail claim that Jesus has informed Guardiola that he now ‘prefers’ operating on the wing as opposed to playing in a more central role.

That could explain why the Brazilian has seen his chances leading the line limited despite the departure of Aguero and lack of an instinctive presence in the penalty area.

City are stacked with talent on the flanks, with Sterling notable struggling for game time in the campaign thus far.

The England international has played 90 minutes just once which came in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at home to Southampton.

Ferran Torres has starred as the central focal point, with the 22-year-old’s form blistering at the start of the season before Guardiola began to rotate.








Torres came into the new season following good form with semi-finalists Spain at Euro 2020
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Image:

Pool via REUTERS)



Is Torres central and Jesus out wide the way to go for Man City? Comment your thoughts below.

Following his two goals in the 5-0 thrashing of Arsenal, the Catalan boss likened Torres – who he signed last summer from Valencia – to a Premier League striking great.

“Now, in this position, he makes movements like the best strikers in behind, like Jamie Vardy,” Guardiola stated. “He is a good finisher, he is so young. Man City made an incredible job buying him.”

So what of Jesus?





Well, his manager seemed pleased with his contribution from wide in City’s separate demolition of Norwich in August as he registered two assists.

“He has so much importance for me,” Guardiola affirmed. “It’s not just when he makes an exceptional performance like today, it’s every day. He deserves to continue playing, when a guy plays in this way he deserves to play again.

“He is a player who likes to play more wide than central positions. One of the reasons why I am a manager in the best moments of my career, apart from the titles and trophies, is because you can work with people, humans like Gabriel.




The Citizens manager continued: “He never complains. He never disrespects his team-mates. If he plays five minutes, he plays the best five minutes he can do. Play right he is happy, play central he is happy, play left he is happy.

“The combination with Kyle [Walker] was exceptional. I am very pleased with the performance he has made, an incredibly important player for us, he is so young,” he added.

“Big congrats because he deserves in life the best because he is so generous. I am incredibly satisfied.”


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