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Why Gabriel Jesus or Sergio Aguero for Man City vs Tottenham is a huge Pep Guardiola call


The Copa America saw Brazil recapture their rightful place as the kings of South America.

And in Manchester City terms, their striker Gabriel Jesus out-shone his clubmate and Argentina star Sergio Aguero , scoring in the semi-final and final.

Jesus has also hit the ground running since returning to training with the Blues, netting the winning spot kick in the Community Shield shoot-out against Liverpool and getting the league season rolling with a sharp opener at West Ham.

City’s South American contingent returned to training at the same time, apart from Fernandinho , who suffered a knee injury in the summer tournament.

But when Leroy Sane was injured early in the game at Wembley, it was to Jesus that Pep Guardiola turned, with both strikers sitting on the bench.

 

The 22-year-old put in a typically hard-working shift up front, and did enough to earn a start against West Ham in the Premier League opener a week later.

That must have been a stark reminder for Aguero of February 1, 2017, when new boy Jesus made his first league start – at the London Stadium – and formed a brilliant, youthful, three-pronged attack with Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane.

He scored, City won 4-0, and Aguero watched from the bench, a smile masking his hurt at the first time his legendary status at City had counted for nothing.

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Sergio Aguero smiled his way through Gabriel Jesus’ first start in 2017 – but his City future was in question

The following weeks saw Jesus picked as first choice by Pep Guardiola, no respecter of reputations, while Aguero uncharacteristically stopped to speak to the media about the possibility of leaving the Blues.

Guardiola persuaded him that a stronger team ethic would make him a better player, Aguero rose to the challenge, and Jesus has taken a back-seat ever since.

Until now. And with Tottenham in town on Saturday teatime, Guardiola faces a big selection dilemma.

His analysis team might point out that Jesus has a better record in 2019.

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Strangely, both men have scored 22 goals and made six assists, for club and country.

But Jesus has done so in just 15 starts and 19 substitute appearances, much less than Aguero’s 28 starts and five sub appearances.

Aguero can rightly point out that he has a sensational record against Spurs, scoring 11 goals and making four assists in his 16 games against them.

It is a genuinely tough call for Guardiola – he clearly loves Jesus’ work-rate and defensive capabilities, but recognises that Aguero is far likelier to grab the goal that wins the game.





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