Pep Guardiola thinks Gabriel Jesus is getting “better and better” for Manchester City – but says Sergio Aguero is “irreplaceable”.
The 22-year-old scored both of City’s goals in their 2-1 win at home to Everton on New Year’s Day, taking his tally for the season to 13 in all competitions.
As Aguero has struggled with injuries in recent months the goalscoring mantle has fallen on Jesus’ shoulders, and the Brazilian has impressed his manager with his application.
“He is young and we cannot forget it, but the way he fights is good and of course he has to improve, but every day he is better and better,” Guardiola told reporters.
“What Gabriel has shown in his time here - there have been ups and downs - but he has been excellent.
“Sergio is irreplaceable. What he means to our fans, for what he has done, the goal against QPR… we need a good backup for all the players and Sergio has a great complimentary player in Gabriel.
“They have a great relationship. Sergio helped us win the last game, today it was Gabriel.”
City’s win over Everton was their sixth in seven games in all competitions, a pleasing reaction for Guardiola after the Manchester derby defeat in early December.
“We played top, really well,” he said. “I am delighted with the performance.
“Being far away from first place after being champions for two years, normally teams give up and finish seventh or eighth, so I am happy.”
City are hoping to have key defender Aymeric Laporte back in contention soon, with the Frenchman set to return to full training in the coming months.
Against Everton, City lined up with a back three of Rodri, Fernandinho and Eric Garcia, a system which Guardiola seemed pleased with.
“Maybe we will do it again,” he said. “In the first half against Sheffield United, we played with three at the back, too.
“Not just second half. We changed position but the structure was that.
“We can do it in the future. We played it really well.
“The five guys are so good with the ball. Riyad [Mahrez] receives the ball in better positions and that helps, too.”