Aguero needs time to return to best form, says Man City boss Guardiola

Guardiola said Aguero remains a key player of the team despite the Argentine being restricted to 11 appearances in all competitions this season.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero needs time to rediscover his best form after a lengthy spell out and the Argentine will have to fight for his spot in the squad, manager Pep Guardiola said.

A combination of injuries and COVID-19 have restricted Aguero to 11 appearances in all competitions this season.

The 32-year-old made his first start in four months in Saturday's 2-1 Premier League win over West Ham United, which marked City's 20th straight victory in all competitions.

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Guardiola said Aguero, City's record scorer with 256 goals, remains a key player of the team.

"He knows it from day one, the guys who play deserve to play," Guardiola said. "It's not just for Sergio - it's for everyone. I try to make fair decisions.

"Sergio is so important for us. He has special talents and special quality.

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"There will be games that are tight and difficult and we need a goal - who is the best guy in these terms? Him.

"But he is coming back after a year and needs time."

City is top of the table with 62 points after 26 games, 12 points above rival Manchester United.