Although Gabriel Jesus’ time at Manchester City has been filled with ups and downs, there is no doubt that signing him for just £27m in 2016 has proven to be an excellent decision from both a footballing and financial perspective.
The Brazilian forward joined City from Palmeiras in a £27m deal in the summer of 2016 but only joined up with the squad at the end of the year.
Since then, the frontman has made 184 appearances for City, in which he has contributed an impressive 81 goals and 33 assists, having established himself as a regular in Pep Guardiola’s side.
Although Jesus has never been particularly prolific in the Premier League, with his best goalscoring tally coming in the 2018/19 season when he hit 14 goals in the top-flight, his intelligent runs and work rate are clearly appreciated by Guardiola, as it often leaves more space for teammates to score.
Earlier this season, when the Brazilian international was enduring a difficult run in front of goal, his Spanish manager was full of praise for him, saying:
“We are delighted with him, we need his goals but his contribution was fantastic in many ways.”
And that’s not the first time this campaign that Guardiola has lavished him in praise either.
Jesus was lauded for his “incredible” influence in the dressing room after the win over Liverpool, despite not featuring, whilst just last month, he suggested that the forward was an ‘unsung hero,’ suggesting he had been “amazing” this term.
His performances on the pitch with City have seen his market value rise significantly during his time in the Premier League, and the 24-year-old is currently valued at £54m by Transfermarkt.
Although that has dropped from 2018, when he was valued at a career-high of £72m, the progression during his time at City has been clear to see, and if his recent form continues, then it would not be a surprise to see his value rise again in the near future.
Jesus has five goals in his last seven appearances for City after a difficult start to the season and Guardiola will be hoping that, in the absence of Sergio Aguero next season, the Brazilian will be able to step up and start finding the net consistently in the Premier League.
Although his finishing has been questioned at times, there is no doubt that sporting director Txiki Begiristain delivered City a bargain back in 2016 with the signing of Jesus, as if he does ever leave the club, it seems clear that the Citizens will make a significant profit.