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Signing Jesus like buying a watermelon – Guardiola

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Manchester City's signing of Gabriel Jesus was like buying a watermelon, said Pep Guardiola after the Brazilian teenager's first goal for the club.

The 19-year-old, who joined from Palmeiras, scored one and assisted another on his first Premier League start as City thrashed West Ham 4-0.

"You never know. It's like a watermelon. You have to open to see if it's good or not," said boss Guardiola.

"The prospect was good. Jesus is a fighter with instinct for the goal."

City signed the striker in the summer for £27m, but he spent the rest of 2016 with his Brazilian club - helping them to win their domestic title. Since joining up with City last month, he has started twice and made one substitute appearance, scoring one goal and assisting two.

Guardiola told BBC Sport: "He played a few minutes against Tottenham and created chances and it's not easy to play at Crystal Palace. He's good at assists too. He made a marvellous assist against Palace and today with Kevin de Bruyne."

The City manager added: "He has dreams about what he wants to do in his future career. He wants to become something in world football, and we're going to try to get it for us."

City left top scorer Sergio Aguero on the bench, starting youngsters Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Jesus up front - and the trio impressed, linking up well and playing a part in all four goals.

"We played a front three with an average age of 20. In Europe, nobody has strikers this young. I like the fans to be excited. Those players are the future of the club."

Guardiola was asked if Aguero would have to get used to life on the bench, but he said: "No. I'm a guy who likes to involve as much players as possible."

While discussing Jesus, the former Barcelona boss, presumably unknowingly, was repeating a phrase Leeds owner Massimo Cellino said in June 2014 about new coach David Hockaday.

"Coaches are like watermelons, you only know [how good it is] when you open it," said the Italian.

Hockaday was sacked after six games.

How the papers saw Jesus' performance

Daily Express
Times
Guardian
Mirror

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