With a name like Jesus, you’d better be good.
And while Brazilian striker, Gabriel Jesus, cannot claim to be a one-man savour, his signing comes as a potential fillip to Manchester City fans concerned that their title bid has gone off the rails.
The 5-0 drubbing of West Ham in the F.A. Cup 3rd round suggested that not much is wrong with City’s attack, however adding a player of Jesus’ quality fires a serious shot across the bows of their rivals, while it may also have the added benefit of further galvanising Sergio Aguero as he looks to build on his two-goal return in the last two games.
Jesus, the fun-loving £28.6 million signing from Palmeiras, has yet to become a new Citizen, with Pep Guardiola keeping his under wraps for now, and that’s not because the 19-year-old has joked on social media about the cold British weather but more to do with taking time to bring their new signing up to speed with City’s unique style of play.
The gift of the Gab is that he can seemingly score from anywhere and in any situation, from his head to left and right foot and from the six-yard box to outside the penalty area. His effort for Brazil against Venezuela was simply majestic.
Well over 50 Brazilians have played in the Premier League and the vast majority of them have been misses rather than hits. Mark Hughes’ signing, Jo, falls into that category. Having cost the Sky Blues a record £18 million in 2008, he scored just six times: an ordinary Jo if ever there was.
Hopefully, for them, Jesus turns out different. With four goals in his first six internationals for Brazil, and 28 in 83 appearances for his club side Palmeiras, online tipsters such as bestbettingwebsites.org.uk are likely to back the move.
Jesus has the pedigree to join the likes of ex-Arsenal stalwart Gilberto Silva and actually make their mark in English football’s top flight. While parts of Manchester will still be alien to him, Jesus certainly knows how to find the back of the net, even when deployed out wide.
His family have flown over from South America with him to offer a support network so crucial to young overseas stars based in foreign climes, so homesickness should not be a problem. Outwardly at least, Jesus does not look the type to dwell on what he doesn’t have, growing up in the Sao Paolo favelas probably taught him that.
The only real concerns lie over his ability to stand up to the rigours of the Premier League in terms of its physicality, as Jesus cuts a lithe, skinny-legged figure who defenders will look to cut in two. Also, despite scoring in international football, he is unproven at such a high level of domestic football. The Premier League is a serious step up from what he has been used to week in week out, and City fans may have to be patient with the smiley one before he fully delivers on his undoubted ability.