Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has expressed optimism that his Brazilian striker has ample room for personal development at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola made the statement about Gabriel’s performance in response to the ongoing competition with Argentine forward Sergio Aguero.
Gabriel scored a goal during City’s 7-0 demolition of Rotherham in the FA Cup. The Brazil international has started 13 games since the 2018/19 season, with a total of 8 goals to his credit—in all competitions.
Speaking on his expectations from the 21-year-old striker, Guardiola said his star player is hungry for goals and can’t wait to unlock his potentials.
‘Both Gabriel and Jesus are competing for dominance,’ the Spanish tactician said. ‘It is common for players to compete for first XI slots…Big players are not exempted—it’s simple.’
Guardiola told Manchester City TV that his selections are always in the club’s interest, adding that every player among the first eleven deserves his place.
‘Gabriel has been selected ahead of Aguero in some circumstances…Not because my relationship with him [Aguero] is bad as reported in the media.
‘To be honest, anytime Gabriel gets more minutes, it’s because of what I thought was best for the team—It also happens when Aguero is fit and I hope he remembers that.
‘Aguero is a world class player…He’s very important but must fight for his place in the team.’
Manchester City are second with 50 points on the Premier League table, 4 points behind Liverpool (54 points).