Numbers haven’t been kind to Gabriel Jesus since his £32million transfer from Palmeiras to Man City.
There’s eight, 19 and eight: the number of Premier League starts the Brazilian has made in his three full seasons at City.
That hasn’t been helped by 20, 21 and 21: the number of league goals Sergio Aguero struck in those campaigns.
But despite reaching double figures just once in the league- when injury limited Aguero to 22 starts during City’s 2017/18 campaign- nobody can fault Jesus’ talent or application.
If there’s a more-patient striker in world football then he needs to step out of the shadows and immediately make himself known to the nearest steward.
Jesus’s problem isn’t ability. His problem is that he plays for one of the few clubs in world football- arguably only City, Liverpool, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Spurs- where that ability isn’t enough to make him an undisputed starter week in, week out.
However there’s a new number that’s a reward of sorts for Jesus’ years of patience: one.
In curling an exquisite finish past a despairing Nick Pope, Jesus became the first player to score on Amazon Prime.
As records go, it isn’t one that will sit proudly amongst the 11 senior honours, ranging from 2016 Olympic Gold to double Premier League medals, already lined up on Jesus’ mantel piece.
After all, could you name the first goalscorers on Setanta (Martin Laursen OG), ESPN (Denilson) or BT Sport (Daniel Sturridge) if your life depended on it?
But then again, nobody would have been bold enough to predict the impact Sky Sports would go on to have on the footballing landscape when Nottingham Forest striker Teddy Sheringham netted the first Super Sunday goal on 16 August 1992.
Amazon Prime was launched in 2005. At that point Jesus was starting out at amateur side Clube Pequeninos, playing on a dirt pitch frequented by policeman because of its proximity to the local military prison.
Although somewhat unlikely when both set out on their respective journeys to conquer the worlds of football and delivery services respectively, fast forward 14 years and Jesus and Amazon Prime’s paths have become intertwined.
Just as Amazon Prime is unrecognisable from the product it started out as- to the extent that the company was able to spend £90mil on 20 Premier League fixtures across each of the next three seasons- so is Jesus from the boy who grew up playing street football in Sao Paulo.
Amazon Prime will now have to put their product where their mouth is for the next three seasons to avoid joining ESPN and Setanta in the graveyard of Premier League TV rights.
But, with Aguero turning 32 next June, the Premier League’s most-patient striker won’t have to wait three seasons to finally establish himself as City’s undisputed no.9.
On the evidence of his first outing on Amazon Prime, Jesus is too good to be waiting on the sidelines any longer.
Whenever his time comes, Jesus will always be no.1 with Amazon Prime.
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