Back at the start of the season, when Gabriel Jesus was living great form for Manchester City, things were pretty clear at the Brazilian national team: the former Palmeiras striker would start, while Roberto Firmino would be an option on the bench.
But things have been changing through the season, with the Liverpool star having fantastic performances and finally being considered to have a chance to wear Brazil’s number nine.
Since manager Tite is currently in Europe picking the last players of the World Cup squad, there was a debate on Sportv about the doubts the boss still has before the tournament. And the striker role could be one of them.
“Week of observations. It seems to me that there is another open spot on the starting lineup that we do not debate as much,” said the show presenter Marcelo Barreto. “Jesus turned into a reserve for Manchester City, and Firmino… I’m saying this within the English football scene. For the Brazilian fan, these guys are still very far from each other.”
Pundit Carlos Eduardo Eboli claimed that Firmino is clearly in better form, but he will only get a place in the team if Tite accepts that change is needed.
“Firmino, for what he has been playing, has showed the football to start games. It’s just that Tite thinks a lot about the team’s fit.”
“The issue is about Gabriel Jesus being ready and in shape, because he is attending the medical department a lot. That made him walk a little behind in the line.
“Jesus moves more with the Brazilian imaginary of football art. Firmino is more perspiration. With three months to the World Cup, there is no way to untie the moment of the national team from the club. Firmino is flying, Jesus has to make up for lost time.”
Changing Tite’s mind is always a problem, and that could be a good thing for Gabriel Jesus, and a problem for the Liverpool player. As recalled by pundit Mauricio Noriega, the manager isn’t always concerned about form at clubs.
“You have to see the weight this has on Tite. Remember Renato Augusto, Paulinho, who he brought to the Seleção when they were not in their big form yet. Some even on a low.”