Pep Guardiola Discusses Transfers and How Manchester City Can Help Gabriel Jesus | Bleacher Report
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Pep Guardiola has hinted he’s happy with the state of his Manchester City squad and is unlikely to add players during the January transfer window. He also discussed how City’s players will help striker Gabriel Jesus cope once his family returns to Brazil.
Guardiola spoke on Friday and played down the idea clubs can find long-term solutions during the winter market:
Simon Stone @sistoney67
Pep on Jan window: “Normally when you buy a player it is for the next five or six years. That normally doesn’t happen in this window. If you are satisfied with the squad you have, you go ahead with what you have.”
The manager’s confidence in what he has is understandable since his team is loaded at the key positions. Strength in depth is obvious following the return from injury of several star performers.
Chief among them are playmakers Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, along with striker Sergio Aguero. The big three are fit and have been getting minutes in recent matches.
Silva and De Bruyne both started Wednesday’s 9-0 win at home to Burton Albion in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final. Their returns means the Citizens now have a full contingent of creative quality in a midfield also featuring Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho.
Having Aguero back is a boost up top even though Jesus found the net four times in the win over Burton. The Brazil international needed the goals, but he’ll also need the support of his team-mates, with his family set to return to South America.
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Guardiola has promised City’s players, particularly those who share Jesus’ homeland, will rally around the 21-year-old, per BBC Sport’s Simon Stone: “We cannot substitute the mother and when the family can’t be there, it’s difficult. But he is not alone and he has Brazilian guys here to help.”
The city boss is aware of the value of a player being settled away from the game and how such contentment can improve performances:
“Private lives can affect shorter and medium term performances a lot. When we are happy in our lives, we are better in our jobs. Sometimes we judge the players and we really don’t know what is happening in their private lives. But we are there to help – the players know we are here and I don’t think it will be a problem over the next few months.“
The impact of Jesus’ family on his current form is clear, according to Tyrone Marshall of the Manchester Evening News: “Jesus’ family arrived before the Everton game on December 15 and since they touched down the striker has scored seven goals in four starts.”
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images
Fortunately, City have a strong group around Jesus, including goalkeeper Ederson, vital holding midfielder Fernandinho and utility full-back Danilo.
Having Jesus in form could prove decisive in what is shaping up to be a Premier League title race set to go the distance. City have cut the gap on leaders Liverpool to four points but having two natural and prolific centre-forwards actually affords Guardiola‘s squad an obvious advantage over the Reds.
Liverpool don’t have many viable alternatives to Roberto Firmino, with Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi struggling to impress. By contrast, Jesus is a player capable of filling in for the dynamic Aguero when on form.
8 – Gabriel Jesus has scored eight goals in his last seven starts in all competitions for Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, one more goal than in his previous 14 starts there. Uptick. #CarabaoCup https://t.co/rHU2jbkotY
Jesus and Aguero fit and firing along winger trio Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez give the Citizens enough match-winners to retain the title.
City have a stronger squad than Liverpool when everyone is fit. Guardiola doesn’t need to concentrate on adding to his numbers this month, he just needs to ensure he keeps all his stars happy.
The latter concern needn’t be a problem while City remain in all four competitions. Guardiola will have ample opportunities to reshuffle the deck and pick the ideal combinations for the pursuit of each trophy.