The opening match of the 2012-13 Premier League season was quite a double-edged sword for Manchester City.
On one hand, the 3-2 victory over Southampton reemphasized the club's poise under pressure and ability to win under any circumstances after playing out in an eerily similar manner to their Premier League triumph three months ago.
On the other, City striker Sergio Aguero fell victim to a knee injury early in the match and needed to be stretchered from the pitch. Now, rumours are swirling that the Argentine striker may have ruptured his cruciate ligament, an injury that would put him out of action for six months.
While these are still rumours and should be taken with a grain of salt until more concrete news is confirmed, it is a good idea for City supporters to get used to the idea of such an early blow to their season.
So that leaves one big question: just how would this effect Manchester City's squad?
For any club, the loss of last season's top scorer, let alone a new folk-hero given their last-second goal to win a title, is a devastating blow heading into a season that has so much promise. However, if one team is set to handle such a loss, it is City.
If Augero's injury is really as devastating as it is being rumoured, it is certainly a set-back for City's striking force.
With Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli to fill out the squad, though, City have quite a few options at the position. Two of them (Tevez and Dzeko) even scored today against Southampton.
Now, despite rumours throughout the summer, Dzeko is an almost certainty to stay at the club. However, City will still want another option at striker.
The timing is a shame, as City could have made a serious run at Robin van Persie just a week ago.
So City will surely go after a new transfer target, right? Not necessarily.
Both Roque Santa Cruz and Emmanuel Adebayor are back from loans; while their time at City has looked sure to be over, either can make for a good fourth option in case of emergency.
Therefore, while Aguero's injury today looks like an incredible set-back, the club has enough depth that it shouldn't be a disaster.
Don't get me wrong: the club will be hard-pressed to find a like-for-like replacement for Aguero's fine play and goals.
On the other hand, given the club's replacements and concession rate of about three-fourths of a goal every match, the loss might not be all that devastating to their title defense.
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