LONDON, (Reuters) – Manchester City’s new signing Gabriel Jesus is poised for his first start for the club today and could become one of the world’s best players, according to former Brazil great Roberto Carlos.
Teenager Jesus, who arrived for Brazilian club Palmeiras this month after a big-money summer deal, enjoyed a lively cameo role when he came off the bench in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur and had a goal ruled out for offside.
City manager Pep Guardiola will probably shuffle his squad against Crystal Palace in the FA Cup fourth round today and could unleash the tricky young forward against Sam Allardyce’s relegation-threatened side.
“He’s fit and he’s already had three weeks with us. We will see tomorrow,” Guardiola told a news conference yesterday.
Former Real Madrid left back Carlos said his compatriot was in the right place to fulfil the potential that has marked him out as one of Brazil’s most exciting young players.
“He won a superb Brazilian title with Palmeiras. With Brazil, he plays alongside Neymar who raises the game and the level of Gabriel Jesus,” he told Squawka.
“At Manchester City, he has (Sergio) Aguero, David Silva. He has players alongside him that will help him adapt slowly. Eventually he’ll become one of the best players in the world.”
The 27 million-pounds ($33.9 million) signing will give Guardiola options up front as he attempts to revive City’s flagging Premier League title challenge, although the Spaniard’s immediate priority is making progress in the Cup.
“Of course we want to go through and win that competition. Tomorrow is a final for us,” he said.
“Every game is complicated, so it will be tough – because of the stadium, Palace’s position, because it’s away.”
Defender Vincent Kompany could also return to the starting line-up having been out since injuring his knee in the league fixture between the sides in November.
“The last game he was on the bench which means he’s ready,” Guardiola said.