Jesus has to make most of Aguero absence

Gabriel Jesus is poised to return to action against Norwich City this weekend after missing the recent victories over Bournemouth and Brighton.

With Sergio Aguero missing with a thigh injury, the next few weeks are crucial for fellow Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus.

Jesus has been unable to find a way past Aguero at City but he has impressed whenever called upon. The Brazil international has three goals in 10 Premier League games for the champions but he has only started four games.

Initially it appeared as if Aguero may face an extended period in the treatment room but the prognosis is now much more positive. The Argentine striker is expected to be missing for around two weeks and the trip to Arsenal on December 15 has been earmarked as a potential return date.

That means that Jesus may only get a few chances to impress before he has to settle for the role of understudy again, but crucially the Manchester derby falls during this period.

City head to Newcastle this weekend and then Burnley. In the last couple of years you would have expected them to win those two away games fairly comfortably but they have been dropping points this term and victories in those fixtures are of course crucial if they want to try and chase down Liverpool’s nine-point lead.

Manchester United then visit the Etihad Stadium on December 7 and a big performance from Jesus would provide a big boost to his own career at the club in the long-term. In the immediate future it is hard to imagine Jesus keeping the club’s all-time top scorer out of the City team for any extended period but Aguero is due to fall out of contract at the end of next season.

The Citizens are regularly linked with potential ‘replacements’ for Aguero and they will bring in a new forward when he departs, that is pretty much a given. The Argentina international seems likely to move back to South America after his current deal expires rather than extend his stay in Manchester any further, and that will be a key period in Jesus’ own career.

If Jesus is to truly establish himself as a regular starter when the club legend does move on he needs to make the most of these opportunities when they do come his way by grabbing a few goals over the next two weeks or so.