Gabriel Jesus is close to end goal drought: Palmeiras coach

Rio de Janeiro, Nov 5 (IANS) Palmeiras coach Alexi Stival has said the Manchester City-bound Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus is close to recapturing his scoring form after a seven-game goal drought.

The 19-year-old, who until last month was the top scorer in Brazil’s Serie A championship, has not netted for the competition leaders since their 1-1 draw with Flamengo on September 14,reports Efe on Friday

“He is contributing and it’s only a matter of time before he scores. We hope that it’s soon but the pressure on him is coming from the outside, not from within the club,” Stival, who is better known as Cuca, told reporters Friday

Despite his recent dry spell, Gabriel has scored 20 goals across all competitions for Palmeiras this year.

The teenager has also hit the target four times in four matches for Brazil since making his international debut in September.

“He will have to learn to cope with that (pressure). The best players always have expectations to perform and he has to understand that it’s normal. I have spoken to him about that, “Cuca said.

“He is at another level. He combines strength with speed and he gives us a lot tactically. He is not limited to just one position. Because of that he is very important to us. He gives us so many options,” he added.

Aiming for their first top-flight title since 1994, Palmeiras have a five-point lead at the top of the Serie A standings with five matches remaining this season.

“The most important thing for us is to be champions, regardless of who scores. He (Gabriel) will contribute and soon enough he will be back on the scoresheet,” Cuca said.

–IANS

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