Brazil legend Rivaldo has suggested that compatriot Gabriel Jesus should consider leaving Manchester City for the betterment of his career after a season in which the young striker saw his role reduced.
After his arrival in January 2017 it was thought Jesus could supplant Sergio Aguero as City’s lead striker. But though he’s made the same number of league appearances, 29, this season as he did in 2017/18, he’s made less than half as many starts – eight compared to 19 the season before.
Across competitions, his productivity has stayed roughly the same, from 17 goals in 42 appearances in 2017/18 to 19 in 46 this season, and he’s scored three times in five FA Cup games heading into this weekend’s final, when City face Watford bidding for a domestic treble having won the Premier League and League Cup already in 2018/19.
But manager Pep Guardiola’s preference for formations with just one striker have seen Jesus become marginalised, especially after Raheem Sterling’s development into City’s premier star alongside Aguero, who has continued to be on top form and adjusted to playing under the Spanish manager.
Rivaldo believes Jesus could stay and fight for his place, and continue to develop under Guardiola, but that a move away would be a better solution.
“Gabriel Jesus wasn’t as influential this season as he was in the last one and I think he has two valid options for next season,” the former Brazil and Barcelona star said (h/t Goal.com).
“As a young prospect he could continue and keep evolving with Guardiola, hoping that more chances come, or he could leave for another club of similar stature to try to become a regular starting 11 player.
“I see the second option as the best solution. He already gained experience and maturity at City and looks prepared for a new challenge in a team where he could be more important for the team.”
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