Gabriel Jesus explains ‘unfair’ decision from Guardiola that forced him out of Manchester City

Gabriel Jesus is expected to be Arsenal's first-choice central striker in 2023-24 ahead of Folarin Balogun

FOOTBALL Gabriel Jesus explains ‘unfair’ decision from Guardiola that forced him out of Manchester City

Joel Omotto 18:40 - 06.07.2023

The Brazil forward has revealed how the City boss made life difficult for him at the Etihad before he opted to join Arsenal last summer.

Gabriel Jesus decided to leave Manchester City when Pep Guardiola did not play him in a Champions League group fixture against Paris Saint-Germain in 2021.

Jesus left City for Arsenal last summer, helping the Gunners to second place in the Premier League behind his former club.

He was the only recognised striker the season before, but preferred to play out wide, leaving City without a striker until Erling Haaland replaced him 12 months ago.

Reflecting on his time at the Etihad, Jesus has claimed in a new interview that one particular snub from Guardiola left him crying in the dressing room, where he made the decision to leave early on in his final season with City.

Jesus claims that Guardiola's decision to play defender Oleksandr Zinchenko - who also joined Arsenal last summer - as a false nine, leaving him on the bench, was the final straw for him when it came to making his decision.

"There was a Champions League game, PSG, at home, in which he put Zinchenko as a false 9. Crazy thing," Jesus said on the 'Denilson Show' Podcast.

"The day before, he didn't even use him [Zinchenko] 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. He told us the team... 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 him [Zinchenko] on, and he didn't put me on. He put a left-back there. I went crazy.

"I didn't warm up. I felt bad. Five minutes after [Kylian] Mbappe scored the goal for 1-0, he [Guardiola] called me. I gave an assist and scored; we turned it around 2-1. In the next [Champions League] game, I thought I was going to play, and I didn't play."

"While the PSG selection may have been the deciding factor, Jesus also hinted at a wider pattern with Guardiola and his team choices, saying: "There was a lot of that with him [Guardiola], and it's not easy. But one evolves. It is really hard. That's when I decided, I didn't want to stay anymore. And I decided to leave."