In the 2016 summer transfer window Manchester City reshuffled their options at centre-forward as they waved goodbye to Edin Dzeko, Stevan Jovetic and Wilfried Bony. The latter left on a short-term loan deal and the other two left permanently to join Serie A clubs Roma and Inter Milan respectively.
With Sergio Aguero left desperately short of support at centre-forward in light of the aforementioned departures, City moved into the transfer market to sign one of Brazil’s most exciting young players, namely Gabriel Jesus.
City announced the deal via their official Twitter page on 3rd August 2016 but the transfer was not completed until January 1st 2017.
Although Jesus was relatively unknown when City revealed the proposed transfer, the supporters were eager to express their delight over the deal on Twitter.
Gabriel Jesus > Pelé.
— R. (@parmeiro) August 3, 2016
such a amazing signing! Beating top clubs like Barca to him!
— Lou (@Llandegren) August 3, 2016
Fantastic signings being made! Well done, Txiki & the team! #WelcomeGabriel
— Poynton Zabaleta (@poyntonblues) August 3, 2016
better than Neymar
— niall (@niallhodgie) August 3, 2016
a very exciting player. Can’t wait to see him in the premiership
— Mr Indifferent (@GoateeJoe) August 6, 2016
he's going to be amazing
— eileen mayall (@aveagudun) August 3, 2016
Clearly, the Manchester City supporters were absolutely thrilled by the prospect of welcoming Jesus to the club and rightly so.
It became apparent from Jesus’ very first appearance that he was destined to become a glowing success in European football as he ghosted in at the back post to score what he thought was a debut winner against Tottenham Hotspur, but it was correctly ruled out for offside.
Jesus may have been deprived of a debut goal but his impact convinced Pep Guardiola to hand him his first Premier League start against West Ham United in the following fixture, and he capped his full debut with a goal and an assist during an electric first-half for the 19-year-old.
But it’s not only Jesus’ natural instinct to find the back of the net which has enabled him to endear himself to the City supporters – far from it.
The bullish centre-forward possesses a strength and determination to work diligently off the ball which is not normally associated with Brazilian players, and his ability to combine a commendable attitude with sublime technical quality make him an ideal candidate to succeed Sergio Aguero as the club’s talisman.
City’s all-time top goalscorer is showing little sign of winding down his career at 30-years-old and the club will presumably expect at least another two seasons of exceptional form before they consider replacing him but, with Jesus waiting in the wings, they have a ready-made replacement simply waiting to fill the void.
Whether Jesus possesses the mentality to emulate Aguero’s achievements at the club remains to be seen, but he has demonstrated sufficient quality in the early stages of his career to suggest he can become a City legend.
The Citizens faithful were absolutely right to gush over the signing of Jesus following the official club announcement and his performances since arriving at the Etihad serve to justify their initial enthusiasm.
Man City fans – thoughts on Jesus? Let us know below!