Not that they seem to need much help in attacking areas, but as of January, Manchester City will be adding Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus to their ranks. And there’s reason to believe the Citizens may have bagged a player of the very highest quality.
The 19-year-old has netted 20 times for current club side Palmeiras in 2016, with his stunning half-volley at America Mineiro in August the sign of a truly special player.
But he’s far more than just a prolific goalscorer. Boasting a stunning range of passing, incredible acceleration and a naturally intelligent reading of the game, he’s already the most important man in the Alviverde squad.
That’s backed up emphatically by the club’s results with and without Jesus. They’ve taken 23 points from their last nine league games with him in the team, and just seven from five matches during his absence at the Olympic Games.
But Palmeiras’ loss has been Brazil’s gain. Jesus scored three times en route to A Selacao lifting Gold at the Olympic Games, and he’s followed that up by scoring in four successive World Cup 2018 qualifiers for the senior side – against Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Venezuela respectively.
There’s also little doubt that joining Man City makes sense as a move for the player. Pep Guardiola has been the managerial benchmark for developing young players in the last decade, bringing through the likes of Pedro, Sergio Busquets and Bojan Krkic.
And while Jesus may not get a centre-forward spot straight away with Kelechi Iheanacho and Sergio Aguero in top form, the Brazilian has proven himself equally effective out on the left-wing, with his near-unplayable dribbling.
Our traders certainly reckon he’ll be getting gametime at the Etihad, with 7/4 for Jesus to score 5 or more Premier League goals this season, while it’s 4/9 he lifts any major trophy with the Blues this season.
With Jesus widely considered to be among the most exciting prospects in world football, backing the 11/4 for the Sao Paulo native to win the Ballon d’Or anytime in his career could prove to be a very savvy bet.
For now though, City will have to get their Premier League title tilt back on track without him, following their 2-0 defeat at Tottenham.
It’s 10/21 for Pep’s Blues to beat Everton at the Etihad on Saturday, to ensure they stay top of the tree.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing