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Monday, June 21, 2021

Jesus adds to Man City injury woes after pulling out of Brazil squad

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The forward will miss three matches before the international break while Sergio Aguero recovers from a knee injury

Gabriel Jesus has added to Manchester City‘s injury problems after Brazil announced on Friday that he had been withdrawn from their World Cup qualifiers next month.

The 23-year-old will miss City’s next three matches before the international break and Brazil’s games against Bolivia and Peru.

With Sergio Aguero still a few weeks away from being fit as he continues his comeback after knee surgery, Pep Guardiola is left with teenager Liam Delap as his only fit striker.

“On Wednesday, the English team contacted Brazil’s doctor Rodrigo Lasmar, to tell him about an injury detected after the game against Wolverhampton, on Monday, in the Premier League,” the Brazil Federation said in a statement.

Following Thursday night’s Carabao Cup victory over Bournemouth, Guardiola said he had only 13 fit players for Saturday’s clash with Leicester City.

Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte are back available following spells in isolation after positive Covid-19 tests but Ilkay Gundogan is still in quarantine.

Barcelona target Eric Garcia is back after having stitches in a head wound but Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Nicolas Otamendi and Oleksandr Zinchenko all have muscle injuries.

As well as Delap who scored on his debut, Guardiola is set to call up a number of Academy players for the Premier League clash with Brendan Rodgers’ unbeaten side on Sunday.

“With the situation we have right now, we need players from the academy,” the City boss said.

“We have just 13 players fit. With the problems we have up front, [Liam] will stay with us. We will use him.

“We cannot forget, like with Phil [Foden], he is only 17 years old. He has a lot of things to improve. We cannot anticipate the progress of every young player.

“We’ve had Phil, Eric, Liam and we have Cole Palmer, who will be an exceptional player. We congratulate the academy.

“I am the last step, but before there are a lot of people in the club working for this and it is a big success for them. Jason Wilcox is the academy boss who helps us have these players.

“That’s why you have the Academy. When you need players we can use it. It depends on the quality of the player. When they have desire, work ethic and the quality is good, they will have chances.”

City are still hoping to bring in a new defender before the transfer window closes on October 5.

A move for Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly has stalled and the club has held talks over Benfica’s Ruben Dias and Sevilla’s Jules Kounde as possible alternatives, although sporting director Monchi has already stated that the club has turned down a bid for the latter.

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