Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has confessed that he is struggling to keep Gabriel Jesus happy at the club.
The Brazilian centre-forward has this week revealed that he is growing increasingly “impatient” with a lack of game time.
Jesus, now 22, signed for the Manchester club in 2017 but still finds himself as second-choice to Sergio Aguero – City’s all-time leading goalscorer.
Despite Jesus starting two of Man City’s last three matches, and scoring in both, Aguero is set to lead the attack away at Everton on Saturday evening.
And Guardiola has admitted that he is finding it difficult to keep Jesus happy.
“He’s special,” said Guardolia. “Of course he wants to play. He’s the No.9 for Brazil. I understand completely.
“All the players want to play all the games. It’s normal. No player will be happy if they don’t play regularly.
“He’s happy when he plays, not happy when he doesn’t.
“They have different qualities. Sergio is one of the most outstanding players I’ve seen in the small spaces.
“But I try to let them both play as much as possible. There are little details that make the difference.
“In some games, Gabriel gives me something Sergio can’t – and also the other way around.
“But both guys are incredible. Sergio is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, a top player, a legend, incredibly humble and a funny guy.
“They’re upset if they don’t play, of course. How can they be happy? It’s impossible. All I can say is that I’m sorry.
“The same happened in the midfield, with Ilkay Gundogan, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne or Phil Foden. I have to choose. We have many games and everyone is necessary.”
City go into the match on the back of three straight wins, scoring 14 goals and conceding none.
Their opponents have struggled of late in the Premier League, winning just one of their previous four matches, and two of those losses coming against newly-promoted sides.
Despite a lack of form for the Toffees, Guardiola still expects a tough match against Marco Silva’s team.
“They are an incredible team with a top manager,” said Guardiola. “Goodison Park is one of the toughest games you can play and we know it. We’ve prepared for that and the players know how difficult it is.”
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Cancelo, Fernandinho, Otamendi, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, D Silva; B Silva, Aguero, Sterling.
Everton (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne; Delph, Schneiderlin; Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Iwobi; Calvert-Lewin.