Sport Soccer

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Aguero backed to eclipse Messi

Sergio Aguero has been in fine form
Sergio Aguero has been in fine form

Andy Hampson

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini believes star striker Sergio Aguero is well on his way to becoming the world's best player. Pellegrini has already said he believes the in-form striker is behind only Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo among the game's current greats.

The 25-year-old Argentinian has been outstanding this season, with 15 goals in his last 12 games and 16 in total. Barcelona's Messi and Real Madrid's Ronaldo have been vying for the title of the world's best player in recent years but Pellegrini believes Aguero can join that elite company.

"We hope. That is what we are working on every day and what he wants. The ambitions of Sergio will be very important if he can arrive at that level."

Pellegrini encountered former Atletico Madrid forward Aguero during his time in Spain. The ex-Villarreal, Real and Malaga boss believes he has made huge strides since then.

"He arrived in Spain when he was 18 or 19. He was always a top player, but this year he is trying to work a little bit more without the ball. Three or four of the last goals we scored are because he is doing a good job pressing on their defenders. He is more complete."

Pellegrini is certainly in no doubt Aguero, signed by City for £38m in 2011, is the best player in the Premier League. Aguero has formed a formidable partnership with summer signing Alvaro Negredo this season, with the pair scoring 27 goals between them.

Swansea are the next side to visit Eastlands hoping to contain them and they will be short of firepower themselves with strikers Michu and Wilfried Bony both out injured.

"Swansea are a very strong team," Pellegrini said. "They play very well. After Manchester City they are the team with most possession in the Premier League. We must play a very good game if we want to win here at home."

City were below par in their Champions League clash with Czech side Viktoria Plzen in midweek but Pellegrini had made seven changes after the Spurs game, which showed them at their very best.

City are yet to click away – having lost four times in the league on their travels – but Swansea could be in trouble if they get back into the stride that crushed Spurs.

"I expect the same effort, I expect the same team. We will try to have the same names, the same men. I think the way we played against Tottenham is the way this team must play, especially the second half.

"We are not always going to score seven goals. If we play not only scoring but pressing with speed, it is the team I want to see every Sunday."

Sunday Independent

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