Gabriel Jesus is set for a new deal at Manchester City as the club want to make sure that their European rivals have no chance of snatching him. The Mirror report that the 20-year-old is set to more than double his current salary, which would take him to £150,000-a-week. The club are keen to reward him for his form since arriving at the Etihad Stadium and recognise his reputation as one of the best young players in Europe.
The fee of £28 million that City paid looks a bargain in the current market and it is important that the club protect themselves from losing him for a low value. The new deal is designed to safeguard his worth and remunerate him fairly for his contributions to the team. Jesus has already emerged as a regular first-team player and had a key role to play during the team’s excellent start to the season.
Was the Brazilian always destined to succeed in Europe?
It was clear from an early stage that Gabriel Jesus was going to have to leave Brazil in order to fulfil his potential. After breaking through at Palmeiras, he was already being talked about as one of the most exciting talents that has been produced in the country for a long time. Upon joining Manchester City, the club’s official site posted a series of quotes from big-names in football talking about the 20-year-old. The following contribution from Ronaldo is worth further comment:
“I’m a fan of Gabriel as I look at him and see myself when I was younger. I see many similarities between us. He is young and is already very successful with a lot of responsibility. He has a footballing career ahead of him and is already delighting us with what he does.”
This is high praise from a legend of Brazilian football. Ronaldo is one of the best strikers that the country has ever produced and for him to see similarities in the game of a teenager underlines how highly Jesus was thought of in his homeland.
The way that the Manchester City striker finds space in the final third is comparable to the former Real Madrid and Inter Milan star. He reads the game well and has a goalscorer’s instinct to get into the most threatening positions. His finishing is of the highest standard and that has already been evident since his move to England, as he is effective with both feet.
Despite his small stature, he possesses a lot of power and is more than competitive in the air. This is one of the traits that has allowed him to adapt quickly to the European game. After moving to Manchester City, The Guardian reported comments from the Brazilian discussing the Premier League and it is clear that he understood what was required to be a success in England:
“I’ve watched it and I notice it’s a very hard, intense style of play. I hope to adapt as quickly as possible. I’m going to try to take it all in and adapt. I know it isn’t going to be easy but it only depends on me to put in the effort to adapt.”
He didn’t only adapt quickly, but he became a first-team regular and pushed Sergio Aguero out of the team for a period. Gabriel Jesus understood the Premier League and carried out the instructions of Pep Guardiola. Unlike other South Americans, the young striker doesn’t have a big ego and he was happy to listen to his coach in order to hit the ground running.
During his first season in England, he scored seven goals and contributed four assists. He was involved in a goal every 59.2 minutes. This is an incredible achievement for a player that was moving to a new continent and at the beginning of their career.
“I think he is ready or close to ready for Europe though, he is a huge talent. But again, he has to play. He has developed very quickly but only through playing regular matches. If he goes somewhere and is loaned out or doesn’t play frequently, I can’t see that helping his development. Especially since the cultural adaptation is so pronounced for young Brazilians.”
The above comments came from Brazilian football expert Tim Stillman, in an interview with Fresh Football. There was never anyone doubting Jesus’ own ability to adapt and succeed in European football. He was always destined for that, but it was crucial that he made the right move for his own personal development. Guardiola has managed him superbly and given him the football that he needed to adapt. The 20-year-old is now one of the leading forwards in the Premier League.
A comparison can be made with Gabriel Barbosa, otherwise known as Gabigol, who moved to Inter Milan last summer. They were seen as the two best attackers breaking through in Brazil, but their trajectories couldn’t have been more different since they each moved to Europe. The former Santos forward played only 113 Serie A minutes last season and has now been sent to Benfica on loan. Jesus must look at the career of his compatriot and be thankful that he chose Manchester City.
The Premier League has been perfect for him and his new contract shows that he is set for a very bright future.
Why is a new deal for the forward required?
The summer transfer window signalled a change in the dynamics and big clubs are now more at risk at losing their key players than ever before. Clubs are now willing to pay extortionate amounts, which make most contracts void, as was evidenced Neymar’s £200 million transfer to Paris Saint Germain. Barcelona inserted a release clause into his contract that they thought would never be triggered. Nonetheless, it was and it has left them in a vulnerable state, despite the huge fee that they were able to collect.
Although it isn’t required for players to have release clauses in England, Premier League clubs remain vulnerable to losing their stars. Jesus needs to have his deal renewed as his current salary is low in comparison to what he is contributing on the pitch. If the Manchester outfit didn’t renew his contract, rival clubs could attempt to lure him away with the promise of a much bigger salary.
Player power is more influential than ever before and that was witnessed during the summer with Philippe Coutinho among others. The midfielder may have remained with Liverpool, but the relationship between the two parties is strained, to put it mildly.
What does the future hold for Gabriel Jesus?
There were indications that Gabriel Jesus had already become the team’s first-choice forward last season, as he was picked ahead of Sergio Aguero on several occasions. The career obituaries being written about the Argentine may have been premature, as he leads the league in goals so far during the 2017/18 campaign. However, that has not meant a lesser role for Jesus, as he has started the season in great form.
Pep Guardiola has chosen to field the South American pair as a front two and it is a dynamic that is achieving success on the pitch. The era of the strike partnerships may be in the past, but these two have shown enough at this early stage to suggest they could be regarded as one of the best in the league’s history if they continue in the current vein. In the Premier League, they already have nine goals and two assists between them. Both of the assists were from Aguero to Jesus, which indicates that an understanding is beginning to develop between the pair.
Although Gabriel Jesus isn’t the star man of the City attack just yet, this contract shows that the club have faith in him to be the leader of their forward line for the long-term. Aguero is now 29 years of age and he won’t be around forever. Eventually, the Brazilian will be given the chance to be the main man and, based on the evidence so far, he will thrive in such a role.
The club want to make him feel important and give him a deal that fairly reflects his status at the Etihad Stadium. After less than a year in England, any doubts about his ability to adapt are now gone. He is the real deal and the next few years will be exciting for City fans as they get to see this great talent develop in front of their own eyes.