Title Race Might Have Been Different With Gabriel Jesus, Suggests Guardiola
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has suggested that Manchester City might have played a more active part in the title race this season, were it not for an injury to Gabriel Jesus suffered in February.
The Brazilian had made a grand start to life at City with three goals in three games, before breaking a metatarsal in early February. He has only just returned to action and Guardiola thinks the season might have panned out differently had he been available.
“Always I think what would have happened, I can imagine. The other guys have done a lot, Sergio had scored [11 goals] in 11 games until Thursday so his numbers are there,” he said.
“But I would like to see him with another guy to help take a lot of the pressure off and also be in that position [to score]. But I will never know. You cannot compete all season with the big teams like Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham and be in Europe without the big players in your squad.
“He is the No.9 for Brazil. He is a guy that everyone knows how good he is. How special. We didn't buy another striker because we bought him but he could not come before January,” he explained.
“That means in September, October, November, December, we had four and a half months without him. And when he arrive here his impact was instant, it was so great in a tough league like here.
“Then he could just play three weeks. I don't know what would have happened with a lot of games, him with Sergio, especially games at home when defences are so deep.
“He has his instinct. He is dynamic and the midfield players can see how he goes for the press and is aggressive in attacking the penalty area. His influence on his other team-mates is huge.”