Saturday 24 February 2018

Jesus could miss rest of City's season

Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus
Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus

James Ducker

Manchester City have been dealt a huge blow with Gabriel Jesus facing a fight to play again this season after suffering a fractured metatarsal that could rule the Brazil striker out for up to three months.

Pep Guardiola's worst fears were realised yesterday when scans confirmed that Jesus had broken a bone in his right foot during City's 2-0 win away to Bournemouth on Monday night, just 24 days after making his debut for the club.

Jesus was substituted in the 15th minute after landing heavily on his right ankle as he attempted to reach a cross.

The forward, who has scored three goals in five appearances since his £27m move from Palmeiras, cut a solemn figure yesterday as he walked on crutches wearing a large, grey protective boot.

A three-month lay-off would rule out the 19-year-old until mid-May. City's final league game is away to Watford on May 21. The FA Cup final and Champions League final are due to be played on May 27 and June 3 respectively. City remain in both competitions.

Jesus's injury will open the door to Sergio Aguero, who had lost his place in the side to the Brazilian.

Guardiola admitted this week that he was not certain Aguero would remain at City beyond the summer, despite senior sources at the club insisting they want him to stay, but the Argentina striker will now be crucial to the club's hopes of finishing in the top four and achieving success in the cup competitions.

City face Huddersfield in the FA Cup on Saturday before hosting Monaco in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie three days later.

Victory over Bournemouth moved City up to second in the Premier League, although they are eight points adrift of leaders Chelsea.

Manuel Pellegrini, Guardiola's predecessor, believes the Catalan, who is taking time to adjust to the demands of English football, will now have a better appreciation of the Chilean's achievements.

Pellegrini, who was replaced at the end of last season, won the league title and two League Cups with City. "I think he [Guardiola] values my work a little more - it is not easy to win the Premier League," said Pellegrini, now in charge of Hebei China Fortune. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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