Pep Guardiola has admitted he is struggling to keep Gabriel Jesus happy at Manchester City due to a lack of game-time.
Jesus, who is in his third season at City, still finds himself playing understudy to Sergio Aguero, who remains Guardiola’s first-choice striker.
Although Jesus has started two of City’s last three games, the Brazil forward is likely to be on the bench again today, with Aguero set to lead the attack at Everton.
Jesus admitted this week that he is becoming increasingly “impatient” at being second-choice to the Argentine, with Guardiola admitting it is hard to keep the 22-year-old happy.
“He’s special,” said Guardolia. “I saw the interview he did and it was perfect. No problem.
“Of course he wants to play. He’s the No.9 for Brazil. I understand completely.
“All the players want to play all the games. It’s normal. No player will be happy if they don’t play regularly.
“He’s happy when he plays, not happy when he doesn’t.
“They have different qualities. Sergio is one of the most outstanding players I’ve seen in the small spaces.
“But I try to let them both play as much as possible. There are little details that make the difference.
“In some games, Gabriel gives me something Sergio can’t – and also the other way around.
“But both guys are incredible. Sergio is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, a top player, a legend, incredibly humble and a funny guy.
“They’re upset if they don’t play, of course. How can they be happy? It’s impossible. All I can say is that I’m sorry.
“The same happened in the midfield, with Ilkay Gundogan, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne or Phil Foden. I have to choose. We have many games and everyone is necessary.”
Despite Everton’s poor recent run under Marco Silva, who is the bookies’ favourite to become the second Premier League boss to get the sack this season, Guardiola is expecting a tough game at Goodison Park.
“They are an incredible team with a top manager,” said Guardiola.
“Goodison Park is one of the toughest games you can play and we know it. We’ve prepared for that and the players know how difficult it is.”