Manchester City have effortlessly got back into their stride upon the resumption of the Premier League, winning their last two games by an aggregate score of 8-0.
However, Monday night’s romp over Burnley was tainted by a knee injury to Sergio Aguero which will now see the Argentine striker travel to Barcelona for an operation that, as indicated by Pep Guardiola, could rule him out for the rest of the season (as per Manchester Evening News).
That setback deprives Manchester City of their leading scorer not just this season but in the club’s history as they continue fighting on three fronts for the remainder of 2019/20. Although their Premier League title defence is likely to come to an end soon, they are still in the FA Cup and, significantly, remain in the hunt to win their first Champions League crown.
Aguero’s prolonged absence will almost certainly see Gabriel Jesus leading the line for City over the next few weeks and, while he doesn’t quite have the extraordinary goal record boasted by his elder team-mate, the Brazilian is no slouch in front of goal himself.
Going into tomorrow night’s visit to Chelsea, the 23-year-old has struck 18 goals this season and provided 10 assists, contributing to 28 goals in total over 41 appearances so far in 2019/20 (as per TransferMarkt). He has already stepped up with a couple of vital interventions this term, most notably his late winner at Leicester in February which was swiftly followed by the equaliser in the 2-1 win over Real Madrid a few days later.
Jesus started last week’s win over Arsenal and, although he hasn’t scored since the league returned this month, he has recorded five shots in 123 minutes of action, as well as providing the assist for Phil Foden’s second goal against Burnley on Monday.
Can Gabriel Jesus adequately step up to fill the void left by Aguero's injury?
With a return of one goal every 130.5 minutes (18 in 2,349 minutes) despite only starting 14 Premier League games so far this season, the Brazilian has been a very efficient impact player for Manchester City. However, with his longest run of consecutive league starts spanning just five matches, he will now have the added responsibility of leading the line with Aguero set to be ruled out for some time.
If that continues to be the case when the Champions League resumes in August and Guardiola’s team are chasing a historic European triumph, Jesus could be more important to the side than at any point in his four seasons at the Etihad Stadium.
Man City fans, how big a blow is Aguero’s injury in the context of the season? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!
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