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The forward’s injuries have been a cause for concern as of late, but his manager insists he’s still the same old player.
Pep Guardiola is convinced that Manchester City forward Sergio Agüero will remain the “same player” when he returns from persistent injury problems.
Aguero, 32, has been limited to 26 Premier League appearances out of 47 possible since the start of last season, with a number of fitness issues plaguing the Argentine.
In 2019-20, Agüero suffered thigh problems and a knee injury that had left him on the sidelines for four months, missing the start of this campaign.
Although he returned to the court in October, Aguero soon returned to the treatment room with a hamstring strain and is currently healing another knee injury.
Aguero is City’s all-time top scorer and his Premier League pedigree is significant: Since the beginning of 2015-16, his 102 goals have been surpassed only by Jamie Vardy (106) and Harry Kane (126).
Despite his record heading into goal, some are concerned that Agüero’s injury problems have caused the former Atlético de Madrid player to lose his sharpness, although Guardiola has no such concerns.
“When he’s fit, he’ll be the same player,” Guardiola said before Saturday’s clash with Fulham.
“Of course, age is age, you have to be fit and it will take a little longer than [Phil] Foden or Raheem [Sterling] It would, because the physicality of the body is completely different, but I am optimistic that it will help us this season to do what it needs.
“For that he should not have knee pain; we are working on that and today he feels much better. When he is able to train for a week and two weeks in normal conditions, he will return in his best moment and his sense of goal is unique in this team.
“That is why he is so important. We cannot forget that we have already played five or six months without him, it is a long time without our striker.”
“But I am confident because he works hard, he is a lovely person, I have an incredible relationship with him, better than ever. I like him and we want him to come back as soon as possible for him and for the team.”
Aguero is in the final year of his contract with City, and some have long believed that he plans to return to Argentina once his time at Manchester comes to an end.