Owen Hargreaves believes that Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus shares a number of footballing qualities to his Brazilian counterpart, Roberto Firmino.
The 23-year-old started in last night’s Champions League victory under Pep Guardiola, as City ran out comfortable 2-0 winners against Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Jesus was amongst the goals, too, as was Bernado Silva as City took significant steps to secure a spot in the last-eight of the competition.
It was the Brazil international’s ninth goal of the season in all competitions. He has just four in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Firmino, who has clocked up 35 appearences in all competitions this season, has just six goals to his name – all of which have come in the PL.
So, it seems the two striker’s footballing talents stretch far beyond just finding the ball in the back of the net. After all, both players are highly rated by arguably the two best managers in world football.
And former City midfielder Hargreaves has picked up on a number of similar attributes that exist between the 2019 Copa America-winning duo, both of whom started together in the 3-1 final victory against Peru.
“He’s [Jesus] perfect for them,” Hargreaves told BT Sport.
“I think he’s more of a Firmino in the sense that he’s really unselfish, in the way that he works and presses. The other guys get the goals, I like him.
“I think he’s probably the best reserve centre-forward in the world of football and I think he’s probably the perfect foil right now for the other guys, who get the headlines and he does work for the other boys.”
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Indeed, Hargreaves makes an interesting case. Looking at the statistics, it’s easy to see why the two players have drawn similarities.
For one, neither Firmino or Jesus are their club side’s recognised top-scorer, despite both taking up central-attacking roles.
In fact, Firmino has just one goal in his previous 14 matches in all competitions. Even if the Liverpool No.9’s game goes beyond scoring, we feel his statistical output could be better.
Similarly, Jesus has contributed just four league goals this term – Ilkay Gundogan, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez all have more.
So, it seems that both Firmino and Jesus are willing to sacrifice their own goalscoring exploits for the betterment of the team.
The main difference currently, is that City have a number of alternative options to get on the scoresheet.
Liverpool have scored just nine goals in their previous 11 league matches, after all, in comparison to City’s 31.
It’s obvious, then, that both Firmino’s and Jesus’ hidden qualities are more appreciated when the ball is regularly finding the back of the net – something Liverpool have become guilty of falling short on in recent weeks.