Sport Soccer

Thursday 19 April 2018

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan hails rare qualities of Sergio Aguero

Ilkay Gundogan, pictured, is relishing the chance to play alongside Sergio Aguero
Ilkay Gundogan, pictured, is relishing the chance to play alongside Sergio Aguero

Ilkay Gundogan has hailed team-mate Sergio Aguero as player of rare quality as the striker prepares to return for Manchester City this weekend.

City's top scorer is back in contention for Saturday's Premier League clash at Swansea after completing his three-match domestic ban for elbowing West Ham's Winston Reid.

Aguero had started the season in blistering form, scoring nine goals in five appearances including two hat-tricks.

"Kun is very important for us," midfielder Gundogan told City TV. "He has qualities that are very rare in the world, so we try to involve him in every game.

"We just want him to score for us in every game and to have him is a very good feeling. It gives us the safety that we are even more able to score. We are all happy he is back now after his three games."

City have still fared well in their games without Aguero, however. During his ban they have beaten arch-rivals Manchester United, thrashed Bournemouth 4-0 and progressed in the EFL Cup by seeing off Swansea in the first of back-to-back matches at the Liberty Stadium in midweek.

In all it has been an electric start to the campaign by City, with new manager Pep Guardiola making an instant impact.

City have won their first nine games in all competitions - an unprecedented feat for the club at the start of a campaign - and are just two short of equalling their overall record for successive wins of 11.

A sixth straight Premier League win this weekend would also represent their best-ever start to a top-flight campaign.

Gundogan said: "It is excellent, it is very good, but we know that it doesn't come automatically. We need to work hard for all these achievements.

"We just want to win the next game and the next game is Swansea again. We want to carry on our undefeated games in a row."

Gundogan himself has only just forced his way into the side after missing the start of the season with the knee injury that ended his final campaign at Borussia Dortmund prematurely.

But the summer signing has set about making up for lost time impressively, shining in a 4-0 Champions League defeat of Borussia Monchengladbach and then scoring in the rout of Bournemouth.

The German said: "I am happy about the start, it is even better than I hoped. It feels great to be back and to play and, of course, also to score - but that is not my main ambition.

"My ambition is always to help the team, to do my best on the field, to be successful. The start was nearly perfect.

"I will just try to keep going like that and to improve and then I hope a lot more successful games will come."

Meanwhile, world governing body FIFA has confirmed it did receive a complaint from Argentinian club Velez Sarsfield over City's signing of 16-year-old Benjamin Garre in July but found there is no case to answer.

Velez alleged there was an approach for Garre when he was still 15, breaching FIFA's rules on the transfer of minors.

A FIFA spokesperson said: "We can confirm that a decision regarding the application made by the Football Association to the sub-committee of the players' status committee for approval of the international transfer of the player from Velez Sarsfield to Manchester City was passed on August 24, 2016.

"We can also confirm that after having thoroughly analysed the request lodged by Velez Sarsfield, it was considered that there is no element justifying the opening of disciplinary proceedings against Manchester City."

City have not commented on the matter.

Press Association

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