Gabriel Jesus Continues to Shine for Brazil
It has been a remarkable rise to prominence for Gabriel Fernando de Jesus, with the 19-year-old making the climb from senior debut at club level to starring for the seleção within the space of just nineteen months. His progress has shown no sign of slowing down, with the teenage wonderkid not only joint-top of the scoring charts in the Brazilian Serie A with Palmeiras who currently sit top of the table, but also scoring three in as many games for Brazil. His superb finish against Bolivia illustrated the level of ability that Gabriel Jesus possesses, and if he continues to develop at domestic and international level, then the sky really is the limit for the striker. Palmeiras are rated as odds-on favourites with Coral to beat Cruzeiro in their upcoming league fixture without their star striker, but while the football odds are currently in their favour, the Alviverde will hope that their teenage sensation reports back for domestic duty injury-free and fires the club towards their first title since 1994.
Many players often crumble under the weight of pressure and expectation when they are likened to a world class player who has made a big impact in the game, but being dubbed as ‘the new Neymar’ does not appear to have fazed Gabriel Jesus. In fact, it has motivated the 19-year-old to grow and become an even better player, with Palmeiras and Brazil fans in no doubt that they have a real star in the making on their hands. The former were always realistic of their chances of keeping a player whose talent is clear for all to see, but although Gabriel Jesus is set to depart for England in January to join Manchester City for an initial fee of £27 million, Cuca will count on his star striker to make the difference in the final few months of the season.
Playing alongside the superstar whose footsteps he could follow in has taken Gabriel Jesus’ game to another level, with the teenage star forming an excellent understanding with Neymar. His unselfish assist for Brazil’s opening goal in the 5-0 rout against Bolivia is a sign of the maturity that the striker is showing at such a young age, with his superb pace, dribbling ability and creative mind making him a real nightmare for defenders to handle. All of these qualities came to the fore in a memorable debut for the seleção as Ecuador were unable to cope with a 19-year-old who was hell bent on making an instant impact; he lit up the stage at the Estadio Olimpico Atahualpa with two goals and an assist as Brazil ran out 3-0 winners, with Tite giving Gabriel Jesus the license to shine after he was part of the Under-23 side who won the gold medal at the Olympics.
It remains to be seen how Pep Guardiola utilises Gabriel Jesus upon his arrival at the Etihad Stadium, but those who have been monitoring his progress will be left in no doubt that the 19-year-old has the potential to become a real star in England. The striker has the potential to celebrate a league title with two different clubs as not only do Palmeiras find themselves three points clear of Flamengo with nine games of the Brazilian Serie A to go, but his future employers have made a blistering start to their Premier League campaign. The favourite’s odds with Coral have dropped even further after Manchester City won their first six games in a row, and although Tottenham ended their 100% start with a 2-0 win at White Hart Lane before the recent international break, the Citizens have put themselves in a strong position in the early stages.
Gabriel Jesus may find first-team opportunities hard to come by, with Sergio Aguero and Kelechi Iheanacho enjoying superb form in front of goal, but as he will become the third striker available to Guardiola, the 19-year-old may get the opportunity to shine at some stage. However, it could be argued that his progress would be further enhanced if he was allowed to go out on loan, and with the Alviverde fans taking to Gabriel Jesus as one of their own, there is a good chance that the teenage prodigy could return to Brazilian soil and continue his route to the very top of world football.
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