Pep Guardiola reiterated his stance that Sergio Aguero remains a key part of Manchester City’s plans for the future despite Gabriel Jesus’ dazzling emergence in the Premier League.
Brazil striker Jesus has started each of City’s last two top-flight matches, with Aguero looking on from the bench at West Ham and against Swansea City – games where the 19-year-old chalked up three goals.
That included an injury-time winner in the latter match, with Aguero also on the field at the time.
Guardiola has maintained the two can play together, although regular promptings this season for Aguero to improve his all-round contribution stand in contrast to his praise for Jesus’ aggressive work rate and pressing since arriving from Palmeiras last month.
Aguero told reporters after the Swansea match he would “see what the club wants to do with me” at the end of the season.
City briefed they had no plans to sell the Argentina international shortly after his interview – something Guardiola was keen to underline at a news conference to preview Monday’s trip to Bournemouth.
“Five minutes after those statements, Man City released a note saying the opinion of the club and manager about Sergio Aguero’s future,” he said.
In the last three matches, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane have completed a youthful and livewire forward line alongside Jesus and Guardiola has identified an upturn in his side’s performances.
“We need to keep going with our rhythm, our way to play, which has been much better in the last matches,” he said.
“I have seen a lot of improvement. When I saw the first half against Swansea that is what I want.
“Maybe we didn’t create too many chances but they had 10 players behind the ball and barely crossed the halfway line.
“Since Tottenham at home [a 2-2 draw where Aguero played 90 minutes], West Ham and Crystal Palace I think we are more stable. We have control more.”
City have put 13 goals past Bournemouth in their previous three Premier League meetings but Guardiola expects the quest for a fourth consecutive win in all competitions to be a challenging one at Vitality Stadium.
“Bournemouth at home are a tough team. [Harry] Arter comes at you and all the players are so aggressive,” he added, with his team 10 points shy of runaway leaders Chelsea in third.
“It’s outstanding what they have done in the last few years. They are an honest team.
“They have fast guys to use on the counter-attack. It will be a tough game.”
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