Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Jesus’ return the key to Manchester City’s quadruple bid

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 17 Feb 2018

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Earlier in the week, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola revealed that Brazilian starlet Gabriel Jesus has returned to full training after injury. Although City have not exactly struggled for goals in his absence, his return is a boost for the Citizens.

The youngster could be included in the Citizens squad for their FA Cup fifth-round visit to League One Wigan on Monday night. It seems unlikely he will feature in the clash though, as Guardiola is unsure of when the striker will play again.

City are aiming to complete an unprecedented quadruple this season of winning the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup. Having the Brazilian fit and firing again could be the key to their efforts of a clean sweep of trophies this season.

City lack striking options

Manchester City have one of the deadliest pair of strikers in the European game in the shape of Jesus and of course Argentinian superstar Sergio Aguero. With City playing with just one central striker, they only need two strikers really.

Very few strikers in world football could oust the pair from the starting line-up anyway. That means that if Aguero or Jesus pick up an injury City are light in attack. That means one player has to play all the games, which has happened recently with Aguero

England international winger Raheem Sterling has played the role in the past. Beyond that, though City have no central striker options. When Jesus returns, Guardiola may then rest Aguero.

Jesus impressed at City

Gabriel Jesus has impressed during his year at Manchester City. He joined the Citizens in the summer of 2016 but stayed with Palmeiras until last January when he finally joined the City squad.

The 20-year-old arrived in the Premier League as virtual an unknown to most fans of the English game. However, he had already made a big impression with the Brazilian national team, helping the Selecao to World Cup qualification.

The forward has made a similar sort of impression in the English top-flight. The youngster has already shown that he is a truly special prospect and took to English football like a duck to water.

The fact that he has scored 15 goals in 28 appearances in the Premier League shows just how well he settled in the top-flight. Just prior to his injury, his form dipped slightly, but it was only to be expected due to his age. He still scored ten goals this season prior to his injury.

He will need some time to get back to his best. However, he has a character and no doubt he will rediscover his best form in the near future. The young striker will be eager to return and find form with the World Cup now less than six months away.

The quadruple is possible

Manchester City went into this campaign as favourites to win virtually every competition they were in. Pep Guardiola’s sheer presence at any club tends to have that effect.

The Citizens are now the favourites at odds of 2/ 1 to win the FA Cup. They first need to negotiate a potentially tricky clash against a vibrant Wigan team at the DW Stadium on Monday night.

Gabriel Jesus may not have a part to play at the DW Stadium, but the Brazilian’s return will certainly increase the Citizens chances of winning that historic. It will not be easy, but it will certainly be easier for City if they have the likes of Jesus firing on all cylinders for the rest of the campaign.

Can Gabriel Jesus’ return to fitness help City win the quadruple this season?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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