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24-Jun-2020, 10:44 pm

Guardiola: No doubts about Jesus but Man City have other options to replace injured Aguero

Jesus - Cropped

Manchester City have no doubts over Gabriel Jesus' ability after Sergio Aguero suffered a knee injury that required surgery, says manager Pep Guardiola.

Jesus has only started 14 Premier League games this season but is set to play a pivotal role in the remainder of City's campaignafter Aguero sustained the problem in Monday's5-0 win over Burnley.

The Brazil international replaced Aguero in that game and Guardiola had positive words for the 23-year-old ahead of Thursday'saway match against Chelsea.

However, he insisted Jesuswould not have to carry the load all by himself.

"We don't have any doubts about Gabriel,” Guardiolatold reporters when asked if Jesus would now come to the fore.

"The only doubts we have is because not one single player with this preparation that we had can play every three days, which is now a run of fixtures that is going to happen.

"No one player in this team can play 90 minutes every three days.

"We have Gabriel but Raheem Sterling can play in this position, Ilkay Gundogan can, Bernardo Silva can,so we have different options – not all like a striker, striker –but different optionswe can use."

Asked if Jesus representedCity'sfuture once Aguero’s contract expires at the end of next season, Guardiola added: "Gabriel plays with Aguero, being in the squad.

"Of course we want to keep him, we are delighted at what he is as a football player and as a person in the locker room with all of us, the backroom staff, he is an exceptional guy.

"We don't have any doubts about him with Aguero or without Aguero now he is injured – we have two incredible strikers and we are happy to have them both."

City have beaten Arsenal and Burnley in their two matches since the restart, scoring eight times without conceding.

Their first away game since play resumedsees them travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea, who are in a battle involving several teams bidding to secure a top-four finish.

But Guardiola has Sunday'saway FA Cup quarter-final clash with Newcastle United at the top of his immediate agenda.

"We cannot deny we have one eye on the Newcastle game,"he said. "We know Chelsea and Liverpool are prestigious, important games but we know our game is in Newcastle.

"It is like a final for us. We have one eye in this situation but another eye of the team selection depending on the physical condition, the minutes they played the game before, the minutes they are going to play.

"So we will take a look at what happens next, not just the game against Chelsea.

"We have to see day by day, game by game, the best players to play to avoid the injuries to arrive in our two incredibly important games that we have in the next period – it'sNewcastle next Sunday and especially Real Madrid now.

"And after that the players just have to handle the situation to qualify mathematically for the Champions League next season.

"We have an incredible position, good position to achieve it, that is what they have to do."

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