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Was Gabriel Jesus always destined for success as he continues to perform for Manchester City?

Jake Jackman

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Jesus

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.

Jake is a student based in the South East. He is a Newcastle fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

Arsenal

Who is best-placed to challenge Manchester City next season?

Pep Guardiola’s side will be looking to defend their title during the 2018/19 campaign.

Martyn Cooke

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Photo: Getty Images

Manchester City were crowned as Premier League champions on Sunday afternoon after Manchester United suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of struggling West Bromwich Albion.

Pep Guardiola’s team have ripped apart the top-flight of English football this season with a devastatingly effective style of play that has left their rivals struggling to hold on to their coattails.

City are currently 16 points clear of second place with five games still to play and now have the opportunity to break the 100-point barrier as the season comes to a conclusion.

Here, The Boot Room evaluate which top-six team is best placed to challenge Manchester City’s dominance next year.

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Manchester United

There are currently mixed feelings around Old Trafford regarding how Manchester United have performed this season and the long-term direction of the club under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho.

A failure to maintain the astonishing pace set by Manchester City has left supporters having to be content with a top-four finish and FA Cup semi-final whilst there has been a deluge of criticism aimed at the pragmatic style of play utilised.

Mourinho remains one of the best managers in world football and he is still in the process of moulding a team in his own image.

The Portuguese maestro has already spent big in the transfer market, as demonstrated by the arrivals of Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku over the past two years, and the club are expected to make further significant investments in the summer.

He needs to find the missing piece to the Manchester United jigsaw and that will mean addressing the lop-sided defence, demonstrated by Ashley Young’s emergence as first-choice left-back.

Mourinho has overcome Guardiola in the past but there will be no room for excuses next season if, after two years of building a team, Manchester United are unable to challenge their cross-city rivals.

(Photo by Glyn Kirk/Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur have continuously improved year-on-year under the stewardship of Mauricio Pochettino but you still feel that the club is some way behind their rivals in terms of winning the Premier League.

Spurs have a young, dynamic squad of players that play fast, attacking football and, in Harry Kane, they possess one of the best strikers in the world right now. However, something is still missing and it is hard to put your finger on exactly what it is.

Perhaps it is simply a mental issue? Tottenham have not won a league title since 1960 and last secured silverware of any kind almost a decade ago – do the current group of players have the right mentality or experience to enable them to maintain performances over the course of a full campaign? Their upcoming FA Cup semi-final may provide an insight later this month.

Whilst you feel that Tottenham will always be in and around the top spots next season, it is difficult to see them overcoming Manchester City without significant investment or Pochettino uncovering the magic formula.

(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Chelsea

Chelsea have offered a feeble and limp defence of their title this year and still face a scramble to secure a place in the top-four.

Things have clearly not been right behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge and Antonio Conte is expected to depart the club in the summer after spending much of the season snipping at the Chelsea hierarchy.

Regardless of who the Italian’s successor is, it is widely expected that the club will bounce back.

Under the ownership of Roman Abramovich, the Blues have continuously maintained their standing as one of the leading side’s in the country and you would imagine that the Russian oligarch will be keen to reclaim their crown next season.

Chelsea will spend big in the summer to ensure that they build a squad capable of challenging Manchester City and a striker will be top of the new manager’s wish list. Alvaro Morata made a positive start to the campaign but has struggled for form and fitness in the second half of the season.

If the Blues can make the right appointment in the dugout and strengthen significantly on the pitch then history suggests they will be in and around the top spots.

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Liverpool

Since arriving at Anfield in October 2015 Jurgen Klopp thrown himself into the task of restoring Liverpool’s status as one of the leading club’s in Europe.

Each transfer window has seen the squad steadily improve and you now feel that the German has built a team that is capable of challenging for both domestic and European silverware.

Liverpool have a reputation for producing attacking, dynamic and exciting football and the attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino possess an abundance of pace, power and creativity.

Under the stewardship of Klopp, the team have always looked capable of scoring goals but have regularly been criticised for being undermined by defensive fragile and frail.

However, the signing of Virgil Van Dijk in January, the emergence of John Robertson and the new-found confidence of Loris Karius appears to have put some of those concerns to bed – Liverpool have kept eight clean sheets in their last 12 matches in all competitions.

Klopp will continue to develop the squad during the summer and, as proven by their historic victory over Manchester City, the Reds are certainly heading in the right direction.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Arsenal

There has continued to be a degree of frustration and dissatisfaction around the Emirates Stadium this season as Arsenal have continued to fall behind their rivals on the pitch.

The Gunners are currently 33 points behind Manchester City in the Premier League are relying on winning the Europa League in order to qualify for the Champions League next year.

The club under-performed last season, failing to qualify for Europe’s premier competition, and the decline has continued over the following twelve months with supporters becoming increasingly frustrated with Arsene Wenger’s failure to consistently secure positive results.

The same old problems persist – there is a lack of leaders, a lack of quality in central defence and no commanding midfield player.

Wenger has brought together an exciting forward line that possesses pace, power and experience with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan arriving in January to complement the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and a fit-again Danny Welbeck.

However, Arsenal continue to be undermined by prevalent weaknesses throughout the remainder of the team and there are currently a world away from competing with Manchester City.

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Kyle Walker’s move to Manchester City justified and Tottenham must learn lessons

The England international has won the silverware he craved at Manchester City.

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Manchester City finally wrapped up the Premier League title yesterday evening, without kicking a ball. Manchester United’s shock loss to West Brom at Old Trafford gave City an unassailable lead at the top of the Premier League table.

For one City player, it was the justification of a big decision made last summer.

Kyle Walker made it clear to former employers Tottenham Hotspur that he wanted to leave the club last summer. The England international was subsequently dropped for Kieran Trippier and sold. City paid Tottenham a total transfer package reported to be in the region of £54 million by The Times.

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The motivation behind Walker’s exit was often questioned by Tottenham fans. He made it clear that his main reason behind leaving City was to win silverware, something that was not happening at Tottenham. However, in terms of form, Spurs had been the better team than City over the previous two seasons.

It saw some fans suggest Walker left the club for the money. Forbes suggested Walker doubled his Tottenham wages with the move to Manchester.

Now, Walker can certainly feel his move was justified. After years of near misses at Tottenham, playing under Pep Guardiola has helped him pick up both the Premier League and League Cup winners’ medals this season.

Undoubtedly, the money will have had something to do with Walker’s move. But he also clearly felt his chances of winning trophies were improved at the Etihad.

(<> at Wembley Stadium on March 27, 2018 in London, England.

It is a sickener for Tottenham fans, but one they will have to take on the chin. Instances like this certainly highlight how tough Tottenham will have it trying to pick up the Premier League trophy whilst always fighting a losing battle in the wages department.

The FA Cup is still on the cards for this season. Manchester United are Tottenham’s opponents in the semi-final this weekend and Spurs will hope to find some silverware at Wembley this season. That can hopefully be the catalyst toward Tottenham pushing for the Premier League title again next season, and keeping players like Walker happy in North London.

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English Premier League

Title-winning result proves Manchester City shouldn’t sign Jonny Evans

The West Brom captain has had a tough season at The Hawthorns.

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Manchester City are the Premier League champions and have an unlikely source to thank for pushing them over the finish line. Following their 3-1 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley the Cityzens knew that a win for West Brom at Manchester United would hand them the Premier League title. Nobody, however, expected it to happen.

But Jay Rodriguez’s second-half header secured an unlikely win for the Premier League’s bottom club at Old Trafford and it handed City their well-deserved title.

But one player’s absence from the fixture might be of more interest to Manchester City.

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

West Brom managed to keep United at bay, without the services of captain Jonny Evans. The former United man missed the game with a minor knee injury. Ahmed Hegazi and Craig Dawson, however, stepped up and put in an excellent performance to keep United at bay.

For many West Brom fans, the club has actually performed better without Evans in recent weeks.

He is, of course, a player who could have been on his way to Manchester City last summer. Pep Guardiola wanted to strengthen is back-line and saw Evans, an experienced Premier League pro, as the perfect option. The Sun reported that City were keen on the player, valued at around £23.5 million by the Baggies.

This summer Evans could be available at a much cheaper price. If West Brom are relegated, the Northern Irishman is available for a fee of just £3 million – as reported by Sky Sports.

(during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Burnley at The Hawthorns on March 31, 2018 in West Bromwich, England.

This week, The Sun claimed that Evans will be snubbing the interest of Arsenal and holding out for Manchester City. However, if there is one thing City should learn from West Brom helping them win the title at the weekend, it is that Evans might not be the man for them.

His form has been questionable this season and on top of that, he was one of four West Brom players who allegedly stole a taxi during a disastrous winter break to Barcelona.

Manchester City signed Aymeric Laporte in January and still have the likes of Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones filling centre-back positions. With that in mind, and given his poor form, it is hard to see why City would bring in Evans at all this summer – even at the bargain price of just £3 million.

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