Man City boss Pep Guardiola has praised Gabriel Jesus but also apologised for not being able to give him more regular playing time.
The 22-year-old has made six appearances across all competitions so far this season, scoring three goals and providing one assist.
However, in that time he has come off the bench regularly in the Premier League as it’s unsurprisingly difficult for him to surpass Sergio Aguero in the pecking order.
In turn, given his quality and his ability to be a starting No.9 at most top clubs around Europe, it’s a difficult situation for all concerned, including Guardiola, who has admitted that it’s tough for him to keep his players happy given the quality depth at his disposal.
“He’s special. I saw the interview he did and it was perfect. No problem,” Guardiola is quoted as saying by The Mirror. “Of course he wants to play. He’s the No.9 for Brazil. I understand completely.
“All the players want to play all the games. It’s normal. No player will be happy if they don’t play regularly. But I try to let them both play as much as possible. There are little details that make the difference.
“In some games, Gabriel gives me something Sergio can’t – and also the other way around. But both guys are incredible. Sergio is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, a top player, a legend, incredibly humble and a funny guy.
“They’re upset if they don’t play, of course. How can they be happy? It’s impossible. All I can say is that I’m sorry.”
It’s difficult to see the situation changing any time soon given Aguero continues to deliver so consistently, and so he will undoubtedly remain Guardiola’s top option up front for Man City when fit and in form.
Nevertheless, given that they will continue to compete on multiple fronts again this season with a view of winning more major trophies, Jesus will undoubtedly get his chances to play, and ultimately he can only hope that his form when involved forces Guardiola to keep him in the Man City starting XI.
While it is likely to be difficult for those not involved in the starting line-up, it’s also surely a luxury that Guardiola appreciates too in having so much quality available which puts his side in a strong position to be so successful.