Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko Again a Trying Crowd for Pellegrini

Phil KeidelContributor IIJanuary 17, 2014

Negredo and Dzeko probably would have been fine if Aguero took longer to heal.
Negredo and Dzeko probably would have been fine if Aguero took longer to heal.Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester City recently welcomed supernova striker Sergio Aguero back to the squad after a month gone nursing a calf injury. For most clubs, this development would be an unconditional godsend.

As always seems the case for City, though, it is never as easy as that. Three really is a crowd for City's strike force.

Aguero's return means one of City's other two prolific strikers, Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko, is about to lose playing time—probably a lot of it.

That will be harsh justice for either Negredo or Dzeko. Both men have performed exceptionally well in Aguero's absence, coincidentally scoring eight goals apiece in all competitions in that month.

In advance of the Sky Blues' return to Premier League play this weekend, City manager Manuel Pellegrini was asked what he makes of this blush-worthy wealth of striking talent at his disposal. As ever, Pellegrini wondered aloud what the problem could possibly be.

"For me, that is not a problem. It is a problem when you don't have players to choose. I think that Alvaro and Edin are in a very good moment. It is very important for the team that Sergio came back," Pellegrini observed dryly, according to Richard Jolly of

Of course it is not a problem right now, because so far none of the three world-class strikers has recently been told he is not good enough to play over the other two.

In fact, Aguero's return against Blackburn Rovers in City's last match, a third-round FA Cup replay, was the best of all worlds for Pellegrini.

Aguero was eased back into action and scored within a minute of taking the pitch. Negredo and Dzeko had already claimed a brace apiece before Aguero scored.


But it was not that long ago—November, to be exact—that Dzeko was confessing to his role in chasing former City boss Roberto Mancini out of the Etihad. "I didn’t feel happy about what had happened to me over the last two years. I did not spend enough time on the field," Dzeko said, per Simon Mullock of the Mirror.

So to borrow from the epic 1980s song "Your Love," "Just 'cause you're right that don't mean I'm wrong."

Pellegrini is right to be thrilled at the depth of quality options he has at striker with four trophy quests still underway.

But he still needs to keep an ear to the ground to suss out and stamp out any discontent from the one who ultimately proves three a crowd.