Pep Guardiola admits that Manchester City ‘miss’ Sergio Aguero after confirming that the forward is not yet ready to return for tomorrow’s clash with Aston Villa.
Aguero has struggled for fitness this season and has made just two league starts for the campaign, whilst his impending return has since been halted following a period of self-isolation after coming into contact with a person who tested positive for Covid-19.
The isolation is the latest setback for a player who has entered the final months of his contract at the Etihad, Aguero having missed the start of the season after undergoing knee surgery before sustaining a hamstring complaint.
The 32-year-old is yet to return to first-team training following his latest absence and will miss tomorrow’s encounter with Villa, though Guardiola admits he is relishing the return of Manchester City‘s all-time record goalscorer and a player who ‘can win games himself’.
“Sergio is not ready for tomorrow,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference. “He is still isolating. I don’t know [for how long].
“We need Aguero, we miss him. The numbers speak for themselves, the best striker in our history.
“He can win games himself and for a long time he is not with us but we have not sat here complaining but moved forward with the players that we have and found alternatives.”
Guardiola also offered an encouraging assessment on the fitness of Aymeric Laporte after the defender returned to training yesterday following injury, with the centre-back set to be assessed ahead of tomorrow’s meeting with Dean Smith’s side.
“Hopefully [he is available],” he said. “That would be good news. We need him.
“We cannot play with just [John] Stones and Ruben [Dias]. We need Nathan [Ake] and Eric [Garcia]. We need Laporte.”
City have won their past eight fixtures in all competitions and can move top of the Premier League for the first time this season with victory over Aston Villa, though current league leaders Manchester United face Fulham in tomorrow night’s later fixture.