Gabriel Jesus has opened up on his rivalry with Sergio Aguero and claimed it is makng him a better player.
Jesus and Aguero were paired together for Manchester City’s 3-1 Carabao Cup win over Southampton on Tuesday, the first time they have started a game together for 13 months.
City boss Pep Guardiola usually prefers to go with one or the other, with Aguero, 30, frequently getting the nod over his younger team-mate because of his experience and goalscoring pedigree.
But Jesus, who has five goals this season to Aguero’s 12, said the competition with his fellow striker can only help him become a more prolific goalscorer and finisher.
“It’s difficult to describe Sergio,” said Jesus. “Sergio is the top scorer of the club and every game he shows us why he is the top scorer.
“I have to learn from him because he’s a legend. Every game he scores. I want to score every game but I think it is different, me and Sergio.
“I’m 22 years old, I have to improve my football, practise my finishing and I have to learn from Sergio.
“This is City, the competition is very high, but I think City has good players and an amazing team, so whoever is playing I think is going to do a very good job.”
Despite competing for the same position up front and the fact they play for rival nations Brazil and Argentina, Jesus said he and Aguero have a good relationship.
“It’s very good. Sometimes we’re in a derby Brazil against Argentina, but it’s very good,” said Jesus.
“It’s the same with Nico [Otamendi]. When we play against Argentina it’s very different, but it’s a very good relationship.”
Guardiola deployed Jesus in a wider role against Southampton, a position he now occupies for Brazil, and one he could reprise when Saints return to the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League tomorrow.
“I like this position and I know always I’m going to respect the manager’s decision,” said Jesus.
“Since the Copa America I’ve played for Brazil as a right winger. I like it.
“I started with the position in Brazil in my old club and after I got to play like a striker, but I like to play both positions. It’s very important you can play more than one.
“It was my first game as a winger with five on the back for Southampton, so it’s difficult when you dribble past one defender and have another one.
“So it’s more difficult, but I like to play like a winger and I like it as a striker as well. I don’t have a preference.”