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Man City aim to remain top vs. Palace

Five Aside

Transfer Rater: Saul to Utd, Lewy to City


Where does Gabriel Jesus fit in Manchester City attack?

Manchester City finally completing the registration of Gabriel Jesus was some much-needed good news for Pep Guardiola, still reeling from Sunday's 4-0 defeat to Everton.

The Brazil international is in contention for a place in City's squad for Saturday's crucial clash with Tottenham Hotspur as they try to get back into the Premier League's top four.

Jesus will add another attacking option at the Etihad and Guardiola must now decide where he can get the most from the £27 million signing from Palmeiras.

The 19-year-old is able to play anywhere across the front three-- with his pace and skilful, quick feet causing problems to defenders out wide while his movement and ability to find space in the box making him a goal threat.

At Palmeiras, Jesus chipped in with 12 goals and five assists from 27 appearances after spending the whole of last season with the Sao Paulo club and helping them to their first Brazilian championship in 22 years.

His form earned him a place in the national team playing as a centre-forward and he has been a revelation for the Selecao, scoring five goals in his first six appearances.

He also helped Brazil win gold at the Rio Olympics in the summer and national team boss Tite has said that the No. 9 role is his best position.

"I hope that he will be used in a central position as he is a classic centre-forward, a real No. 9," Tite was quoted as saying by Marca this month.

"I hope that he isn't played down the wings. Even although he plays in [Sergio] Aguero's position, I believe that he can reach his full potential."

Gabriel Jesus gesture
Gabriel Jesus was not registered by Manchester City in time for their first three games of 2017.

It's a sentiment echoed by Brazilian legend Romario, who has high hopes for Jesus after playing alongside him in a friendly in December.

"For what he has done in a Palmeiras shirt and in a Brazil shirt, I can say that he is going to be our next great No 9," the 1994 World Cup-winner said.

"He's a boy, he's only starting out, but he's already getting there and he's a hard-working kid."

Jesus may find it difficult at City to immediately edge out Aguero, who remains one of the most prolific strikers in the Premier League. The Argentina international has 11 league goals already this season and is only three behind top scorers Diego Costa, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexis Sanchez despite missing seven games through suspension.

Guardiola says it shows Jesus' quality that he is able to lead the line for Brazil at such a young age but the City boss insists he doesn't want to put too much pressure on him while he finds his feet in the Premier League.

"He's 19-20 years old, so he's so, so young," Guardiola told a news conference on Jan. 5. "He's strong, because when you are able to play as a No. 9 for Brazil, I think it's good, but I don't want to put him under a lot of pressure, saying that he has to solve our problems.

"What he has to do is play as freely as possible and score as many goals as possible when he's going to play, and I think he's going to help us in that."

Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero stands between Gabriel Jesus and a role as Manchester City's main centre-forward.

And Guardiola also said that he sees Jesus potentially playing in a No. 10 role with Aguero rather than instead of him.

"[Jesus] has played as a winger, to make movements, outside and inside, but of course he has to play close to the goal," he added.

"He's not a typical winger down the line, like Raz [Raheem Sterling] for example or Jesus Navas, who makes the actions for the crosses.

"He makes a good movement, runs in behind, and you have to use him close to Sergio, close to our strikers."

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.


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