Gabriel Jesus is growing impatient over his limited opportunities at Manchester City but admits it will be difficult to take Sergio Aguero’s place in the team.
The 22-year-old Brazil striker arrived at the Etihad in January 2017 as Aguero’s long-term replacement and has been forced to bide his time by City’s all-time record goal scorer.
Jesus found it hard being left out last season, but he returned with a more positive attitude in the summer and has scored three goals from as many starts for Pep Guardiola’s team this term.
He said: ‘I’m over the “I have to wait (for a chance)” phase. I’ve been here for almost three years, it’s my fourth season, and that makes me want to play more.
‘Obviously it’s very hard to compete for a place with Aguero, the biggest legend of this club, although it’s good for the team – he plays well when in the team and I do the same.
‘I do understand Pep’s decisions and respect Sergio, his history here and what he’s doing now.
‘People say that I’m a sub in a negative way but they forget I’m not in the bench due to bad performances. It’s because Aguero has been superb. I’ve learnt not how to wait but how to understand this situation.’
Jesus told Brazil TV station Esporte Interativo: ‘Personally, last season was very hard. I didn’t get the chance to play in many games and many important games.
‘I remember the Tottenham match at home in the Champions League. I was very frustrated about not playing and, of course, City being knocked out.
‘It does hurt when you don’t get chances in important games so I was disappointed at the end of last season. I think that’s normal and I’ve never been unprofessional about it. I was very upset but I did understand.
‘I kept my mind in the right place and finished the season playing a (FA Cup) final and scoring twice.
‘During my holidays I could see ahead and project this season differently. I’ve played six games so far, playing well and scoring goals.
‘That’s my focus, I don’t want to steal anyone’s spot in the first team. Things happen naturally.’