Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has insisted that Carlos Tevez is more than capable of leading the line this season, in light of Sergio Aguero being stretchered off during the 3-2 victory over Southampton on Sunday.
Aguero sustained an injury to his knee during the 13th minute of City's Premier League opener and is set to have a scan on Monday reveal the full extent of the damage.
Yet, despite his absence for the majority of the game, the home side went on to secure a 3-2 win thanks to goals from Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Samir Nasri - and the captain chose to single out Tevez's performance for praise.
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"I don’t want to speculate too much about Sergio because I don’t know if he is going to be out for any length of time,” he told the club's official website.
“But if that is the case, having Carlos at his best level is obviously a big bonus for us because he is one of the best strikers in the world and he played really well today.
“We lost Sergio early on today which was a blow, but I just go back to last season when we lost Carlos for most of the campaign and we coped well with that.
“It goes without saying that I hope Sergio won’t be out for that long, we coped well with all the issues and we did it very well and if we have to, I’m sure we will again.
“People talk about new signings, but to have Carlos back to his best means we are better than we were last season so we have strengthened in that respect.”
The 26-year-old also admitted to being impressed with the start Jack Rodwell made to his City career as the young midfielder, who recently signed from Everton for a reported fee of around £12 million, was handed his debut by Roberto Mancini.
“Jack has settled in very well and he is already well ahead of schedule when you consider he has only had two training sessions with us and this was his first game,” he added.
“I’m sure he’ll be an asset to our team and I think this game was the right time to bring him in with Liverpool coming up next week.
“We, as a squad, always make new players feel part of the team and welcome them in to the fold – even if we haven’t had too many arrivals this season.”