Date: 6th February 2017 at 7:54pm
Written by:

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Gabriel Jesus, or Gabriel Fernando de Jesus in full, is older than his 19 years.

The tattoos, the defined facial hair and an attitude that suggests experience way beyond his years.

It isn’t every day that a 19-year old kid displaces one of the finest strikers of our generation, Sergio Aguero, from a team where he is the main man. But there is something special about this boy from Brazil.

Born in Sao Paulo, the young man oozes all the qualities of a Samba star. Where we have seen Brazilian ‘wonderkids’ come and go, Gabriel Jesus’ performances so far have suggested Manchester City have got a real gem on their hands.

We have seen the likes of Robinho try his hand in the blue of Manchester and fail, but ‘Jesus’ seems to have all the qualities needed to be a top-class Premier League forward.

If anyone watched the Brazilian football team at the Olympics, they will already know how special this boy is. Even playing alongside the likes of Barcelona’s Neymar, Jesus looked at home. He scored three goals for his country to help Brazil claim their first Olympic gold medal in football.

Jesus appears to be someone who thrives under pressure. Twenty-seven million pounds (£27m) is not a cheap amount to pay for a teenager. Yet, in front of almost 60,000 fans, against last season’s Premier League title contenders. Tottenham, Jesus still was unfazed on his debut.

He so nearly had the perfect start, tapping home at the far post merely moments after coming on, but was cruelly denied by the assistant’s flag. He was undeterred.

Next, he turned his sights on Crystal Palace, setting up a goal for Raheem Sterling in City’s 3-0 win in the FA Cup. He was swiftly rewarded with his first start in the league, displacing the indispensable Aguero. A first goal and another assist followed, and to Swansea City’s displeasure, so did another start.

Jesus scored both goals in the weekend’s last-gasp victory against The Swans, and Guardiola’s faith was repaid.

Arsene Wenger once said that it takes six months for a new player to adapt to the Premier League, but it has taken Jesus just two games. This underlines his quality, considering Paul Pogba is still finding his feet over six months since his world-record summer transfer.

Although only 5ft 10in, Jesus holds remarkable strength in his body. His hold-up play on Sunday afternoon was way beyond his years in terms of quality, and he has already demonstrated he knows where the goal is.

Jesus also looks to have the stomach for the fight of the Premier League. He was allowed to stay in Brazil to help win Palmeiras their first league title since 1994, scoring 12 goals on their road to glory. Not afraid to put himself about either, Jesus has been sent off already for fighting during a league game the Brazilian champions.

He also has experience on the international stage. He already has an Olympic gold medal and six full international caps, in which he has already scored four goals.

Jesus may well have gone to the Copa América in the summer, having been picked in Dunga’s provisional 40-man squad, but he was denied due to a missing visa denying him entry to the USA.

With an electric start to life in Manchester, Jesus has already set himself high standards. As well as being dubbed the future of Brazilian football, by the legendary Ronaldo, he is also seen as the long-term successor to Aguero, which is no mean feat.

Having already displaced Manchester City’s title-winning striker from 2012, and pushed Kelechi Ihenacho down the pecking order, Jesus will be hoping that his successful start to life in Manchester continues for the foreseeable future.

Brought to you by Shoot!