Guardiola: Manchester City hero Aguero one of the best

Pep Guardiola believes Sergio Aguero is respected as one of the finest strikers in world football, even if awards remain elusive.

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero   -  Gett Images

Sergio Aguero has earned recognition where it matters when it comes to his goalscoring exploits for Manchester City, according to manager Pep Guardiola.

The Argentina striker netted his 30th of the season in all competitions to set City on the way to a 3-0 EFL Cup final triumph over Arsenal at Wembley on Sunday.

It is the third time in the past four seasons Aguero has reached that landmark – he netted 29 in 2015-16 – and, having broken City's all-time scoring record earlier this term, he is now on 199 overall for the Premier League leaders.

Nevertheless, since moving to the Etihad Stadium in 2011-12, Aguero has never been named in the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Team of the Year or scooped any of the major end-of-season individual awards.

With Kevin De Bruyne identified as the standout star in City's march towards the title as Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah enjoy prolific form and attract headlines for Tottenham and Liverpool, Aguero's achievements might be in danger of being taken for granted once more.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's trip to Arsenal, Guardiola acclaimed his striker's scoring feats and offered a different perspective.

"199, wow," he said.

"The best recognition that one player can have is the recognition of his mates and he has it.

"We are so delighted with what Sergio has done so far these two years – the goals and the way he tries to help us with and without the ball."

Praise has not always flowed so freely in Aguero's direction from Guardiola, with calls for the 29-year-old to improve preceding Gabriel Jesus' flying start to English football and a place on the bench for City's talisman.

Attempts to land Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal before he joined Manchester United also suggested the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss was still not entirely sold on Aguero.

"Sometimes I am so demanding to him and the others because I want the best for them," Guardiola explained. "I think he can do better, that is the reason why - not for another reason.

"It is to help him and he has to know he has to play good to be in the team. Not just Sergio, everybody.

"The only way to keep going in two, three or four competitions is to be like this."

The Catalan added: "I think English football, European football and world football has a lot of recognition for Sergio because it is not just one season, it is a lot of seasons.

"I am delighted with the goals he has scored so far and still we have three months in front of us to score more and more and more. He's one of the best, of course."