Pep Guardiola has admitted serious concerns about Sergio Aguero’s long term fitness.
Guardiola left the club’s record scorer on the bench even though Manchester City desperately needed a goal to stop their disappointing start to the campaign suffering another defeat.
But City boss Guardiola insisted they will have to manage his games very carefully from now on which casts doubt over the 32-year-old’s future in terms of being able to be their No1 striker.
Aguero, whose contract expires in 2021, has struggled to come back from a raft of injuries, the last one being a serious knee issue suffered in June which kept him out of their Champions League campaign and has restricted him this season.
Guardiola said: “I’m not going to say we don’t need Sergio, we need him. But Sergio, when he was 31 years old, was injured for five months with a difficult and dangerous injury.
“He came back, played 50/55 minutes and then got injured again. We want him and I want Sergio fit because I now discover how important he is for us with what he has done in the Premier League.
“But we have to be careful so he doesn’t come back and get injured again. We need the right moment to put him inside. Hopefully it can be soon and maintain the regularity to play games.”
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City are struggling to score goals, they are stuck in mid-table and yet Guardiola admits that the fixture schedule has made it impossible to do anything on the training pitch other than match fitness.
When asked how easy it is to work on the training ground, Guardiola said: “Impossible. But for all the clubs it is the same so I’m not saying we have an advantage or disadvantage. It’s just impossible. No chance.
“It is my responsibility as a manager to lift them and to give them as much as possible. I have never in 12 years pointed the finger at someone. Everyone is going to solve it.
“I would love to have Sergio back, I would love to have Gabriel back but they are not going to solve all the situations. We scored in two seasons more than 100 goals and 80/90 percent of the players are the same, especially up front.
“We lost Leroy Sane, but he didn’t play much last season because he was injured all season and we scored 100 goals.
“But football is like this sometimes one season is completely different from the other one and you have to find the moment. We will find the way to play and we will get better.”