Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has expressed his delight at the impending arrival of Gabriel Jesus.
The Brazilian agreed to join City from Palmeiras in the summer – but he won’t join up with his new team-mates until the Brazilian league season finishes in December.
Since agreeing to sign for the Blues, Jesus’ stock has continued to rise. Palmeiras are currently top the Brazilian Serie A, with Jesus scoring 11 goals in 22 games, and he produced a series of impressive displays for Brazil’s under-23s at the Olympics that helped him force his way into the senior side.
He’s already managed four goals for the senior team, including a superb double on his debut against Ecuador in September.
Guardiola, understandably, cannot wait for him to arrive in Manchester – and says his pedigree for a player of his age is already hugely impressive.
“The club decided to buy him and we are so happy,” Guardiola said. “The guy is 19, 20 years old playing No. 9 for Brazil, it means a lot.”
Jesus was chased by a number of top European clubs – but a personal phone call from Guardiola proved decisive in swaying his decision to join City.
Not since Neymar’s emergence has there been such fevered anticipation about a South American footballer. Sporting director Txiki Begiristain deserves huge praise for completing such a difficult deal.
Guardiola believes City’s other Brazilian stars can help the youngster settle – and says he expects Jesus to play a key role for the club in the long term.
“We are so happy he is here,” Guardiola added. “I am sure he is going to help us, not just this season but in the future of this club.
“From my point of view, I just want to help him, to build him.
“He will arrive with Fernandinho and Fernando and the other Brazilian players to help him to adjust and adapt as soon as possible.
“We are looking forward to him coming and being with us.”