City won't do well without key man Aguero: Pep

Manchester City's Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero (left) vies with Tottenham Hotspur's English defender Danny Rose during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, on Jan 21, 2017.
Manchester City's Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero (left) vies with Tottenham Hotspur's English defender Danny Rose during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, on Jan 21, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON • Pep Guardiola has insisted that Manchester City cannot be successful without Sergio Aguero and that the Argentinian striker and Gabriel Jesus can play together.

The manager dropped Aguero for the 4-0 victory at West Ham on Wednesday, which represented the third time this season the City manager has omitted the striker from his starting line-up.

Jesus, the 19-year-old £27 million (S$47.4 million) January signing from Palmeiras, was preferred and scored a first goal for his new team.

"Sergio remains the most - or one of the most - important players in our squad. Without him, (success) will not be possible," Guardiola said.

On the possibility of Aguero and Jesus playing together, the manager added: "In Brazil Gabriel played on the left side, he likes to play on the left, with the movement in the diagonals, like he was doing in the last games.

"Both can play together because Gabriel is not just one in behind, he is good in the box, he is a fighter. His tracking back is really good, that is why he can help us a lot."

While Guardiola has to decide whether to reinstate Aguero for the visit of Swansea today, he is also deliberating whether to bring back Claudio Bravo after also dropping the goalkeeper in midweek.

"Still I didn't decide if to keep Willy Caballero," he said. "I am happy because in the big clubs they always have good goalkeepers and I have it and I am going to decide, it depends on what I see."

Guardiola knows Swansea could provide City with one of their hardest games over the remainder of the Premier League season.

The Welsh club have recorded back-to-back league wins under new manager Paul Clement, including a 3-2 win against Liverpool.

Guardiola believes Clement has made a huge impact and says his own team will have to be at their best to break their visitors down.

Swansea have been strengthened significantly during the transfer window, with midfielder Tom Carroll, left-back Martin Olsson and winger Luciano Narsingh already making significant impact.

"We are all working very hard to stay in this league," Clement said.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 05, 2017, with the headline 'City won't do well without key man Aguero: Pep'. Print Edition | Subscribe