Pep Guardiola has suggested that struggling striker Gabriel Jesus becomes calmer in the penalty area in order to add goals to his impressive general play.
The Brazilian’s only goals this season have come against Huddersfield and League One Oxford United but will hope Sunday’s opponents Southampton will bring about a change of luck.
In City’s last game against The Saints, Jesus scored the historic late winner which took Guardiola’s champions to a hundred points – with the goal celebrated on a giant mural on the side of The Eithad Stadium.
Since then the 21-year-old has flopped at the World Cup and fallen well behind Sergio Aguero in the pecking order at City.
Attempting to encourage the youngster, Guardiola said: ‘Of course he needs a goal, strikers live for that, but his performance against Fulham (in the Carabao Cup on Thursday) was excellent, how he moved, now he created, how he caused problems.
‘People don’t realise a lot of his movements without the ball. For example, our third goal for Bernardo Silva against Donetsk in the Champions League, Gabriel helps the goal. He is a player who gave us a lot. He is a young player, he can still improve, a little more calm inside the box.
‘But he has desire, that is why he accepted a contract for many years. We are going to help him.’
Southampton could be seen as ideal opponents for Jesus to get back on the goal trail.
‘I am more than satisfied with the way he plays this season but of course strikers need goals to be completely “I am there”. But it is a long season, it is only November, many things are going to happen,’ added Guardiola.