Football

Judge Jesus at end of season

Toure and Fernandinho play down hype over Brazilian hotshot

Yaya Toure insists Manchester City "should not get too excited" about Gabriel Jesus just yet.

Fresh from helping Brazil to Olympic gold and Palmeiras to the Brazilian championship, the striker (above) has scored three goals in four games - including City's last-gasp winner against Swansea last weekend - since completing his £27-million (S$47.5m) move from Palmeiras last month.

Toure, however, wants care to be taken with the 19-year-old.

"He is a very good player; very quick, sharp and clever," said the Ivory Coast midfielder.

"We realise we have to be careful, though, and we shouldn't get too excited because he has to be focused.

"What we want to do is just continue to keep going and, at the end of the season, we can talk about him.

"We need to have young players because City are always a team which want to win the league.

"The mentality of the club is to try to get new players in and try to do as best as possible.

"When you see Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Jesus, Sane and Raheem Sterling playing well, you realise we have a great squad with some young players."

There has been a lot of hype about Jesus but, although he is clearly a very talented player, I have not seen anything that has really blown me away in the way the likes of Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen did when they burst onto the scene. TV pundit Jermaine Jenas

Toure, who has established himself in manager Pep Guardiola's first team, also admits it will be "tough" for City to rival Chelsea for the Premier League title now that the gap is 10 points with 14 games left.

"If we continue to win, I think it'll be a very, very exciting end to the season," he told mancity.com.

"We are 10 points behind Chelsea. The Premier League is very, very tough and all we have to do is just focus on ourselves and keep going."

Like Toure, City's Brazil midfielder Fernandinho has been as impressed by Jesus as anyone, but warned that a drop-off at some point is only natural.

"He has been a professional footballer for just two years, so he is starting very, very, very young," said Fernandinho.

BRIGHT START

"We were happy for his incredible performances for the national team and for his club, where he won a few titles, and now he has come here and started to score goals. I hope he can keep that level at least until the end of the season.

"As a young player, you can sometimes drop your level.

"He can play amazing, but he is good because his mentality is good, on the same level all the time - he is stable.

"We can help him stay at this level until the end of the season and, if he does, everyone will be happy.

"If he scores more goals for us, I'll be the first to be happy."

I think he is hungry and has desire and shows so many good things. Man City manager Pep guardiola

Jesus, who has kept Sergio Aguero out of the starting line-up for the last two matches which led to speculation about the Argentinian's long-term future at the club, admits even he has been surprised by his start in English football.

"Yes, I am very surprised," Jesus told the club website when asked about how things were going. "I work a lot every single day, with everyone's support, in order for that to happen.

"I am very happy. Each day, I feel that I am adjusting really well, with the support of everyone in the club.

"The players, they help me every day and that makes me happy, even more because I am able to make a good start in a City shirt." - PA SPORT

manchester cityeplYaya Toure