Aguero will have to be at his best to play for Man City - Guardiola

The striker has had a spell out after contracting Covid-19 and his manager says he will not be gifted a place in the starting XI

Pep Guardiola has insisted that Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero will have to earn his place in the starting XI.

Though a legendary figure at the club he has served since 2011, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss will not invite Aguero back into the team purely based on past glories.

Indeed, with a winning run now stretching to an astonishing 20 games, Guardiola can afford to be picky.

What did he say?

Asked if Aguero will need to be back at his best to play for City, Guardiola replied: “He knows it. He knows it from day one, the guys who play deserve to play.

“From day one all my message is: 'What we did two hours ago is over.'

“It’s not just for Sergio - it's for everyone. I try to make fair decisions. Fair for one player is unfair for another one.

“Today was a real tough game for the three players upfront. It’s good news he played 60 minutes and then the next game we need him, let’s go.

“Sergio is so important for us. He scored the most important goal in this club's history.

“We want to help him - he will do it.”

How long was Aguero out for?

Aguero’s appearance against West Ham on Saturday was the first team he had played competitively since a 3-1 win over Chelsea on January 3.

He had missed the intervening 14 games after contracting Covid-19.

He has had a stop-start campaign which has restricted him to only 11 appearances in what could be his farewell season with the club.

As well as illness, he has had two spells out with knee injury and another out with a hamstring problem.

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