Gabriel Jesus has stated that a rejection by Pep Guardiola for a Champions League game against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) that left him ‘mad’ and in tears was the moment he decided he wanted to leave the club, going on to join Arsenal seven months later in a £45m trade. The Brazilian has subsequently left Manchester City to join Arsenal, who finished second to his previous club last season.
Jesus spent six years at City, but he was in and out of the starting XI, frequently playing second choice to Sergio Aguero, who commanded the No. 9 position. When Jesus was ignored in a Champions League match with PSG on a European night, his emotions reached a boiling point, because Guardiola made the unusual choice to put Zinchenko, generally a defender, in an attacking role despite being no hint of the tactical change.
He didn’t even use him in training: Gabriel Jesus
The Brazilian told the Denilson Show podcast, “There was a Champions League game, PSG, at home in which he put Zinchenko as a false 9. Crazy thing. The day before, he didn’t even use him in training, he had put me in as a striker.. Zinchenko even joked with me: ‘That day I felt bad for you’. “Two hours before the game, there’s a team talk, the team eats, rests for 30 minutes and goes to the game… I didn’t even eat. I went straight to the room, crying, I called my mother to talk: ‘I want to leave’. I’m going home, because he put (Zinchenko) on. He put a left-back there. I went crazy.”
He added “I didn’t warm up. I felt bad. Five minutes after Mbappe scored the goal for 1-0, (Guardiola) called me. I gave an assist and scored; we turned it around 2-1. In the next (Champions League) game (a 2-1 win at RB Leipzig), I thought I was going to play, and I didn’t play. “There was a lot of that with him (Guardiola), and it’s not easy. But one (player) evolves. It is really hard. That’s when I decided, I didn’t want to stay anymore. And I decided to leave.”
Jesus would come in to deliver the game-winning goal for City, who had fallen down 1-0 to a Kylian Mbappe strike. Raheem Sterling levelled 14 minutes before the Brazilian’s goal.