São Paulo Brazil
“He’s like Kelechi and Sergio Agüero. When the ball is there, it’s a goal. He has the sense to score. So we’re buying goals. That’s not easy today. He moves around a lot and opens up space. City bought the right player”, summarized Pep Guardiola, in 2016.
But everything changed in 2022.
For 45 million pounds, R$ 289 million.
With the right to Palmeiras still receive R$ 20 million.
Money that adds to the BRL 120 million, corresponding to 33 million euros, from the sale made in August 2016.
The salary was 6 million pounds sterling, around R$38 million, a year in Manchester. It went up to 10 million pounds, around R$64 million, annually, in London.
There were 236 matches, 95 goals.
Four Premier League achievements. An England Cup. Four English League Cups. And an English Super Cup.
Financially it was exceptional for Gabriel Jesus.
But his departure from Manchester City to Arsenal, aged 25, hides Pep Guardiola’s disappointment. The Brazilian’s passage was far short of what the Catalan had expected.
The Catalan saw the striker as a scorer with numerous resources, in addition to speed and skill. Player capable of imposing himself with technique to dribble, score, start with the ball.
Gabriel Jesus was accompanied by Guardiola, since when he coached Bayern Munich. Upon landing in England, he asked for the Palmeiras player, from the Olympic team.
Only the striker, who was pointed out by the English press as the ‘natural replacement’ for Sergio Aguero.
It turned out to be a huge mistake. Because Gabriel Jesus never had the characteristic of being a definer. Quite the opposite. He is a player who plays on the sides of the field, leaving with the ball dominated or receiving shots.
What the Manchester press and City fans expected did not have in the Brazilian. So much so that he alternated during the five years he stayed in England, moments that were fundamental to the team. And others in which he was a mere reserve.
To make matters worse, in the Brazilian National Team, Tite insisted on casting him ‘in sacrifice’, in the World Cup in Russia. As the attacker in charge of running after flanks, trying to disturb the opponent’s ball out in an insane way. While Neymar was privileged in the tactical scheme.
Gabriel Jesus had a paltry participation, he left fasting.
In recent years, it has lost prestige.
City had already given up on betting on Gabriel Jesus as their top scorer. So much so that the management insisted, begged for the hiring of Harry Kane. But Tottenham always made the transaction difficult, giving up when the deal was about to be closed.
The club, which belongs to the UAE’s royal family, decided to invest in another Guardiola dream. Norwegian Erling Haaland. After enormous insistence and a lot of competition, the contract was made. For 75 million euros, about R$ 414 million, the negotiation ended up closed, with Borussia Dortmund.
The Catalan coach repeated what he did with Gabriel Jesus. He called the Norwegian and convinced him to leave Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United aside.
At the same time that City closed the deal, Gabriel Jesus knew that his space would end once and for all as a starter. To make matters worse, he had already talked to Guardiola, who no longer wanted to play centrally. And yes from the sides. He would fight Sterling, Mahrez, Foden and Grealish.
Guardiola acted as manager. He made it clear to City’s management: Gabriel Jesus was not essential for the 2022/2023 season.
Spaniard Mikel Arteta has been asking for Gabriel Jesus since 2021.
The former coordinator of the Brazilian National Team, Edu Gaspar, made a point of assuring Gabriel Jesus that he would have at Arsenal the role he always dreamed of, and never had, at Manchester City and would be the absolute starter of the team. A situation that would lead to the dispute of the Qatar Cup once and for all.
The transaction has been closed.
Palmeiras and City profited.
He is rich, father of a girl, Helena.
You will have more chances to fight for a spot in the Worlds.
The forward leaves Manchester City with a slight hint of frustration.
But he will never admit it publicly.
And Guardiola proved not to be infallible.
Gabriel Jesus was never the ‘ideal replacement’ for Sergio Aguero.
Manchester City’s all-time top scorer with 260 goals…
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