Pep Guardiola says Sergio Aguero is “irreplaceable” as the striker prepares to leave Manchester City at the end of the season.
City’s all-time record goalscorer will leave the Etihad when his contract expires this summer and Guardiola has paid a glowing tribute to a player who has won four Premier League titles, an FA Cup, and five League Cups during his 10 years at the club.
“We have still two months ahead, and today I saw the training session how brilliant he was and his commitment,” said Guardiola.
“Sergio is irreplaceable. I could say in terms of numbers he can be replaceable, it’s not easy when you see more than 360 games played and more than 250 goals, the amount of titles…
“So it’s the legend, the best striker this club has ever had for this century through the years, but is irreplaceable in the souls, in the hearts, in the minds of our fans, of our people, of the players that played alongside him and all the managers who worked with him.
“He’s a fantastic person, a human being, and I’m pretty sure if his mind is still aggressive like he is, he can extend his career longer and longer than maybe two or three or four or five years.”
Guardiola believes the 32-year-old Argentina international helped establish the club as a powerful force in English and European football and has backed him to make headlines for City before he leaves, with the club chasing a possible quadruple.
“I think he still has interesting goals to score this season,” he added.
“Unfortunately, he was out for one year. People won’t believe this because we have had success, but we missed him in some moments.
“We missed him for the special quality he has, it’s so difficult to find it, the sense of goal and the quality, when he’s sharp and especially when he’s angry and upset, he makes his energy in his legs and is able to get close to the box to make these runs for five/10 metres and is able to destroy the one, two or three opponents and then finish.
“We were so lucky, the guys who came after him – me as a manager for example. We took over the club and he was one of the guys like Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, David Silva, many players helped this club make a step forward and of course he was one of them.
“He helped us find a club organisation in a higher level. When he came here the club was in one level, and he helped to put the club in a higher level. And that’s why all the people are still here, and of course the fans always will be grateful.
“Without them, what we achieved in the past four or five years would not be possible, that’s for sure.”