In Depth

Guardiola hails Aguero, but does he have a Man City future?

City cruise past Huddersfield, but free-scoring Argentine striker has yet to be told he is wanted at the Etihad next season

Manchester City progressed to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup yesterday with an emphatic victory over Huddersfield. The match saw Sergio Aguero deliver the kind of performance his exacting manager Pep Guardiola has been demanding.

City fell behind early on but roared back into the tie to win 5-1, with Aguero scoring twice and setting up another for Pablo Zabaleta. Leroy Sane and Kelechi Iheanacho also got on the scoresheet. 

It was a display that had Guardiola purring. "It is the best performance I have ever seen from Sergio," he said, praising the striker's work rate and ability to create chances. 

It appeared that Aguero could be deemed surplus to requirements following the arrival of Gabriel Jesus. But the Brazilian teenager's  metatarsal injury has "blown open a door that seemed in danger of closing on the Argentine and he has been reinvigorated since coming back into the fold", says James Ducker of the Daily Telegraph.

The City striker now has 158 goals in 238 games, notes Henry Winter of The Times, and what's more "the 28-year-old is undeniably developing into an even greater, all-round threat under Guardiola." 

Following the injury to Jesus, Aguero "took his chance to show Guardiola that he could learn new tricks as Monaco found to their cost last week, and Huddersfield Town last night", he says.

But the morning after the night before it emerged that Aguero was still waiting to be personally informed that he remains part of Guardiola's plans. 

"My intention is to stay but it is a long way away," he said. "I have three months to give my best and as I always said, in June it will be seen. One thing is that the club officially says it [they want me] and another thing is to tell me." 

That raises the prospect of "showdown talks" in the summer, says The Guardian, with the Argentine striker's future far from certain.  

But Guardiola would do well to learn from his problems in the goalkeeping department, says Ducker of the Telegraph. 

"Aguero may have to produce a few more nights like this before the questions about his future at Manchester City begin to dissipate, but Claudio Bravo's problems at the opposite end of the pitch should tell Pep Guardiola all he needs to know about the perils of jettisoning big players prematurely," he says.

The goalkeeper was at fault for Huddersfield's opener and looked far from happy. He "simply provided another reminder on Wednesday night of how badly Guardiola erred last summer by ousting Joe Hart in favour of signing the Chile goalkeeper from Barcelona".

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