Manchester City’s preseason is now in full swing. Two wins in Hong Kong and an entertaining victory over AC Milan have increased the intensity of their warm-up preparations as Manuel Pellegrini looks to stamp his identity on his new side.
But one notable name has been missing from City’s lineups so far: Sergio Aguero.
The Argentine forward suffered two knee injuries last season, which disrupted his campaign, and he’s now been left off Argentina's squad to face Italy in Rome later this month.
His injury isn’t thought to be serious, in fact, he was an unused substitute during the win over Milan, but his inactivity during preseason will give City a few concerns. A fit Aguero is a key component to any City side.
City’s summer recruitment process means they are well stocked in attacking areas, with Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo both arriving to add real competition for places. However, it’s Aguero who is the star player in the Manchester City striking department, and his involvement will be fundamental to any success at home and abroad.
Signed for £38 million in 2011, Aguero has since written himself into City folklore after his last-gasp, title-winning goal against QPR in 2012. His performance level for City has been phenomenal—pace, goals, trickery and a tireless work-rate make him one of the finest strikers on the planet.
Aguero notched 30 goals in his debut season, the first time any City player has achieved that feat in the top tier since 1971/72. Last season, in an injury-hit campaign, he scored 17. His influence on this team is clear.
At 25, Aguero has already established himself as one of the finest forwards in world football. For the sake of Manchester City, the quicker he is back involved in first-team football the better.
The club has big aspirations this season, and Aguero is needed if they are to fulfill them.
Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @TypicalCity