Super strikers spurring each other on to greater glory
“GABRIEL Jesus was excellent, but Sergio Aguero is irreplaceable.”
Perhaps not the words the Brazil striker wanted to hear from his manager after his two excellent goals had sunk Everton and moved him into the top five of the all-time deadliest Premier League strikers. As always, Pep Guardiola’s faint praise has sparked several different interpretations, ranging from it being an expression of the kind of tough love he has used – not entirely successfully – on Leroy Sane, to a broad hint that Jesus will be shipped out in a summer of upheaval.
Of course, he could just have been stating a stark fact, and one which Jesus’ own pronouncements recognise as the truth.
The 22-year-old has made it plain he has no issues with playing second fiddle to Aguero, fully respecting the part that the Argentina ace holds in City history, and the legendary status it affords him.
And he continues to acknowledge that he is still on a learning curve, struggling to find some permanence to his confidence.
It feels as though Jesus needs to be in a state of anxiety about his goalscoring in order to function, while Aguero is steeped in his own belief in himself.
But Jesus has improved hugely in one aspect of his game – and it is one which even Aguero cannot match.
In Premier League and Champions League, Jesus has already bagged 12 goals this season, one more than he scored in the entirety of last season. What is especially pleasing for the youngster is the variety he has found – five came with his favoured right foot (42 per cent), four with his left (33 per cent) and three with his head (25 per cent).
His last three seasons have seen his goal stats dominated by his right foot with 60 per cent of his goals coming from that peg, and just 23 per cent from his left foot and 17 per cent with his head.