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[av_heading heading=’Manchester City new striker Gabriel Jesus’ tag=’h1′ style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ size=’46’ subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=’custom-color-heading’ custom_font=’#ffffff’][/av_heading]

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Author: Iain Macintosh

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You can certainly see why Original Ronaldo (Originaldo, if you will) sees so much of himself in Manchester City’s new signing Gabriel Jesus. Not the Ronaldo he became, of course, that hulk of a frontman with talent still coursing through a body ravaged by injuries. But the Ronaldo he was before his body began to protest. The fleet-footed, nerveless young man who tore through the Eredivisie for PSV Eindhoven in the mid-90s.
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Let’s look at Jesus Player profile on Wyscout:
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For club and country (at U23 level), Gabriel Jesus has been playing as an out and out striker of late, but he’s quite capable of playing anywhere across the final third. Like Original Ronaldo, he relishes picking the ball up deep and running with it. There’s a mocking quality to his play too, a habit of waiting for defenders to get too close to him before his feet blur and he suddenly zips away from them.

Little wonder that Pep Guardiola made a personal intervention to secure his services. The 19 year old is a blank canvas player for the new City manager, someone with so much ability and apparent hunger that he can be moulded into any sort of player. He has rough edges and there are a few moments in his back catalogue where he executes an astonishing moment of skill before lofting the ball straight to an opponent, but that’s to be expected.

Gabriel Jesus has two distinct finishing styles in front of goal. The first, a personal favourite, evokes memories of Geoff Hurst’s third goal in the 1966 World Cup. He has a knack of striding in on goal, before throwing his right leg all the way back and then cracking it forward with so much force that his entire body seems to fold up like a cheap deckchair.
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His second special move is to arrive late for a crucial pass in the penalty area and calmly sidefoot it one way as the goalkeeper goes the other, like a competitive dad, breaking his child’s spirit over the tennis net.

There are clear differences between him and Ronaldo, of course. Originaldo was both taller and stronger than Gabriel Jesus, equipped to either dazzle or simply power through an uncompromising Dutch backline. But the boy from Sao Paolo has plenty of time to build some muscle on that light frame. Remember how much Cristiano Ronaldo (Cronaldo, perhaps) changed in his early years at Manchester United, like a ‘before and after’ model for mail order bodybuilding equipment.

The only question now is how easily he settles into life in England. There are obvious cultural and climatic differences, but Manchester, for all the protestations of certain former residents (Carlos Tevez, I’m looking in your direction) is a vibrant, exciting and eclectic metropolis these days. With the right people around him providing influence and protection, he should be okay. But not many Brazilian players flourish in the UK. Gabriel Jesus, however, has everything it takes to succeed.
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Iain Macintosh
Is a football writer for ESPNFC and the editor of  The Set Pieces

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