Pep Guardiola has saluted Sergio Aguero as a Manchester City “legend” as he closes in on the club’s record goal haul.
The Argentine striker has been a model of consistency throughout his time at the Etihad Stadium, with a £38 million transfer fee made to look like quite the bargain.
Aguero is now into his seventh season with City, and has helped them to two Premier League titles and two League Cup wins.
His goals have been a major contributing factor to those triumphs – including his iconic effort on the final day of 2011/12 Premier League season – and the 29-year-old is now just two short of matching the return of Blues legend Eric Brook.
After seeing Aguero edge ever closer to that target with a hat-trick in a 6-0 mauling of Watford on Saturday, Guardiola said: "Hopefully that will happen very soon, and hopefully we can have a big celebration.
"Hopefully the club can do that one day soon in the stadium at the game. He's a legend, and it's a part of history in the club."
Aguero could have been even closer to a bit of history after his latest outing, with Raheem Sterling allowed to take a late penalty at Vicarage Road.
Guardiola has frustrated him at times with the odd spell on the bench during his time at the City helm, but the Catalan coach claims he has always been a fan of the South American and believes he has become more of complete player after being forced to think about more than just himself.
He added: "Listen I always think he works hard. But he's a guy I encourage to play, not just to score goals.
"I don't want just two or three players defending or trying to score goals, I want everyone defending and everyone attacking. I want to see every player move towards the ball, especially the strikers."
Aguero’s next opportunity to try and become City’s all-time leading marksman will come at West Brom on Wednesday, when Guardiola’s side face their Premier League rivals in the third round of the League Cup.