Sergio Aguero is “three or four years ahead of where Gabriel Jesus wants to be”, says Danny Mills, with the Argentine still the “first name on the teamsheet” for Manchester City.
The reigning Premier League champions are blessed with proven international talent throughout a star-studded squad.
Competition for places stretches across the field, with Aguero and Jesus battling it out for a striking berth in Pep Guardiola’s plans.
Both have shown what they are capable of, but one South American is considered to sit above the other in the pecking order.
Aguero, as City’s all-time leading scorer, has been a model of consistency throughout his career and is still setting the standard for a 21-year-old Brazilian team-mate to follow.
Former defender Mills told Sky Sports: "In and around the box his [Aguero’s] movement and his sharpness is class. When he plays for Man City he adds a different dimension.
"He is three or four years ahead of where Jesus wants to be, if he's fit he is first name on the teamsheet."
Aguero has netted 11 times in the Premier League this season, compared to Jesus’ haul of five.
Their contribution is helping to keep City in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple.
Guardiola has played down talk of four trophies being landed, with his side having suffered the odd wobble.
A shock 2-1 defeat at Newcastle in their last Premier League outing has seen questions asked of the reigning Premier League champions, with Mills suggesting that their focus is drifting.
He said: "They scored after 23 seconds and you think is it going to be three, four? They didn't kick on, they never put them [Newcastle] to the sword, which is not like them at all.
"Newcastle were resolute and made them pay on the counter-attack and it's a massive blow for City who could have put the pressure on Liverpool.
"Complacency could have been a factor the other night, all of a sudden you get to half-time, it's one nil and Newcastle have a bit of belief. It was a huge opportunity missed.
"It doesn't take a lot for the top sides to become normal almost, maybe even a five to 10 per cent drop off.
"For Manchester City and Liverpool this is now all about pressure now, and who can deal with it best."
City return to action on Sunday when they welcome top-four hopefuls Arsenal to the Etihad Stadium.