20-year-old Jese was a little-heard-of football professional until coming on for Real Madrid and scoring a 90th minute consolation goal in a 2-1 loss against Barcelona at the Nou Camp in October. That game was all about the form of Neymar, and the Brazilian rightfully won the plaudits for an influential performance.
From that game on, however, Jese has grown in stature, and now looks comfortable lining-up alongside the likes of Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema.
Despite not starting a game, Jese has come off the bench 10 times so far this campaign, scoring twice and assisting with another three goals - similar stats to €25M signing Angel Di Maria.
Following Real Madrid’s 3-0 victory over Celta Vigo, Italian boss Carlo Ancelotti recognised the quality that Jese brings, and praised the forward’s impact as he registered another late assist:
'Jese can be one of our most important players even without starting the game', said Ancelotti. 'When your opponents are tired it's important to have a fast player'.
Jese’s rise through the Real Madrid ranks will be of particular interest to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman is in the market for a new striker following the injuries to Walcott, Giroud and Bendtner, and Real Madrid’s other young Spanish U21 striker Alvaro Morata was an Arsenal transfer target over the summer.
Morata had initially shrugged off the interest from Arsenal, citing a desire to stay in Madrid, however the youngster has made only one La Liga start for the club this campaign.
With Jese coming off the bench more often over the last month, Ancelotti and the Real Madrid directors may now look at the Arsenal situation as an opportunity to agree a 6-month loan-move, which may guarantee more much-needed first-team football for Morata, and also help Arsenal out upfront.
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