Equipo masculino

Zabaleta: Jesus and Sane are future City stars

Pablo Zabaleta believes Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus have big futures at Manchester City.

Gabriel Jesus, aged 19, and Leroy Sane, aged 21, both started City’s FA Cup fourth-round victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday and delivered impressive displays.

Jesus set up Raheem Sterling for City’s opener with a wonderful turn and pass, while Sane grabbed his third in three games in the second half with a cool finish past Wayne Hennessey.

And Zabaleta, now in his ninth season at the Etihad Stadium, believes their displays bode well for the future.

“I am so pleased for Leroy,” the Argentine said. “He’s done fantastically in the last few months.

“[Gabriel Jesus] is not your typical number 9 that we see in the Premier League who is tall and strong. His mobility, his skills, he’s really good on the ball and works a lot without it.


“Sometimes for a striker it’s hard when you come to the Premier League, especially when you’re coming from South America where the football is completely different.


“Here you can sometimes have very strong defenders who go in hard on strikers but from what I have seen of him in training sessions and also in the games he’s played is that he doesn’t care about that. He wants the ball, he tries and he’ll have a fantastic time with Manchester City for sure.

“He’s so young and it’s the same with Leroy. They are the future of this club and hopefully they can have a successful time at City.”

Sane struggled initially after his summer move from Schalke but has shown real signs of improvement in recent weeks, with his pace and ability to dribble past defenders perhaps his two most potent assets.

Zabaleta believes young players need time to adapt to new surroundings and says the more experienced pros in the squad have a duty to help them settle and learn the game.

“For all young players moving to a new league, a new country, everything is different,” he said.

“They need time to settle in, to adapt.

“Maybe the players who have been here for a long time have a responsibility to help them on and off the pitch. Leroy has been really, really good.

“His performances in the last few games have been fantastic and I hope he can continue to do that well.”

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