A couple of weeks ago, ESPN Brasil had an interview with Manchester City scout Carlos Eduardo Santoro, who has been looking for South American talents for Pep Guardiola’s side.
At the time, we covered the story in which Santoro revealed how the Spanish boss has been planning transfers, and the attributes he’s looking for when watching youngsters.
But it seems that ESPN saved a part of it for later, because today they’ve published more of the talk, in which the scout spoke about signing Gabriel Jesus.
“We found Gabriel Jesus, who is a talented player of potential that we believed in. At that moment, I don’t know if we needed a striker,” Santoro told ESPN Brasil.
“We had Aguero and had just signed Bony. But he was a talent and an opportunity. If we did not catch him at that moment and then he signed for Real Madrid or PSG, we would never catch him again. We monitor the market for decision-making independent of the squad’s need.”
Santos claims that he followed Gabriel Jesus for years before telling Manchester City he was one to be signed.
“It wasn’t such a short process of a window, a month. When I was at Adidas I met and worked with Gabriel, who was 15 years old. Then when I went to work at City, I watched the Paulista U17 and then U20 World Championship in New Zealand.”
That’s when Santoro’s boss went to watch the player: “He watched Gabriel playing at home and away. Working in a position of 9 and out. At the academy, he played with two strikers. When he went up to the first team, he played inside under Oswaldo de Oliveira and outside under Marcelo Oliveira.
“The game model counts a lot. For example, the defensive midfielder of Chelsea needs a feature. The one of City will be different. We like to play in the opponent’s half and have the ball. It’s different from a team that expects the opponent to attack.
“Sometimes Jesus could have played a not-so-good game, but he had great potential. They are different things, we need to understand situations. We also report the player’s salary and the release clause. It is our duty to give as much information as possible. Then comes the director to close the deal or not.”
ESPN says it was Txiki Begiristain who travelled to Brazil and reached an agreement for the player. Signed on a €32m deal from Palmeiras in 2016, Jesus only joined Manchester City’s squad in January this year. He has 17 goals and 9 assists in 34 games for the club so far.