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How Manuel Pellegrini Can Get the Best out of Sergio Aguero at Manchester City

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 23: Sergio Aguero #16 of Manchester City takes a shot on goal against the Chelsea during a friendly match at Busch Stadium on May 23, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
James McNicholasFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 15, 2016

With BBC Sport reporting that Manchester City have reached an agreement for Carlos Tevez to join Juventus, Sergio Aguero’s place as Manchester City’s main striker next season is confirmed. 

Aguero’s 2012-13 season was interrupted by a succession of injury problems. Next season, City’s new manager, Manuel Pellegrini, will be charged with helping Aguero return to his stunning form of City’s title-winning 2011-12 campaign.

Key to helping Aguero fulfill his potential will be keeping him fit. When Aguero is able to play, his finishing remains lethal. Last season, his 22 Premier League starts brought an impressive 12 goals. 

Pellegrini has acted fast to add fitness coach Jose Cabello to his backroom staff. Cabello worked closely with Pellegrini at Malaga and was able to help another injury-prone Argentine striker, Javier Saviola, achieve some of the best form of his career. 

The sale of Tevez is a little surprising. Tevez and Aguero have formed an effective partnership in the past, and Pellegrini is a manager who prefers to play with a front two.

At Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga, Pellegrini typically played with a South American-style 4-2-2-2 formation, with two non-axial playmakers positioned behind a pair of strikers. According to the Daily Mail, Pellegrini’s desire to field two forwards could see him hand a reprieve to Bosnian forward Edin Dzeko, who was previously expected to leave the club.

Dzeko and Aguero have the makings of a natural partnership. Dzeko is taller and better in the air and could win knock-downs for Aguero to chase on to. Dzeko is also less comfortable drifting out to the wide areas where Aguero flourishes. 

It will be crucial to provide Aguero with the right kind of ammunition. David Silva is a shoe-in for one of the two playmaker roles, but Pellegrini must identify another player with the ingenuity to function as the oil in City’s engine.

Pellegrini had hoped to add Malaga’s Isco to his ranks, but according to Jamie Jackson of The Guardianthe Spanish midfielder seems set to join Real Madrid. Pellegrini may look to the existing City squad to find an internal solution. 

French midfielder Samir Nasri has yet to justify his enormous transfer fee and salary at the Etihad Stadium. However, Pellegrini’s 4-2-2-2 system seems perfectly designed to accentuate Nasri’s strengths.

In front of the more defensive pair of Yaya Toure and Fernandinho, Nasri and Silva would be free to wreak havoc between the midfield and the attack. Aguero would hope to be the primary beneficiary of their creative skills. 

If City are to launch a sustained title challenge next season, it is vital that Pellegrini harnesses Aguero’s undoubted talent. If he can stay fit, the Argentine has the potential to supersede the likes of Robin van Persie and Luis Suarez as the Premier League’s most potent forward.

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