It is a known fact that Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has preferred to play without a striker this season. In the initial stages of the season, it was understandable as both Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero were unavailable on account of injuries and illness.
However, the idea of not having a number nine in the XI soon became tactical. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager soon started employing Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, and Phil Foden as the number nine on a rotation basis.
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Mind you, this was carried out even after Aguero and Jesus were available and ready for selection.
Though Pep did give out a considerable number of chances to Jesus, the Brazilian failed to prove himself. The 23-year-old has only managed to find the net eight times from 27 appearances. He also has four assists to his name. It is clear to know why Pep did not start him in the big games.
City’s first game after becoming champions of England this season was against Crystal Palace. In a heavily contested match where goals were aplenty, Ferran Torres stood out the most.
The 21-year-old completed his maiden hat-trick for Manchester City and his second of the season, overall.
The Spaniard is certainly a bright prospect and speaking about him to Sky Sports, Pep Guardiola didn’t rule out the option of having Torres replace Sergio Aguero as a pure goal-scorer in the team.
Torres has had a decent first season with Manchester City recording seven goals and two assists with the Sky Blues. It is understandable why Pep Guardiola is keen to trust him with the goal-scoring duties.
"“I don’t know what’s going to happen. Maybe we buy a striker, maybe not. We have a guy, he’s [Ferran Torres] young. A good transfer. I can use him left, right, striker,” said Pep Guardiola after the match.Source: Sky Sports"
Meanwhile, the Cityzens continue to be linked with Erling Haaland and Harry Kane and it will be interesting to see what the think tank at the Etihad Stadium makes of the current situation regarding the lack of a proper number nine in the club.
Perhaps, Gabriel Jesus might be handed one last chance to prove his worth to the club.