Sergio Aguero is just three goals away from becoming the top scorer in Manchester Derby history – but the striker may not even get another chance to break the record.
With his Manchester City contract running out at the end of the season and no decision yet on a new deal, Sunday's Premier League at the Etihad Stadium with his city rivals Wayne Rooney's 11 to overtake Argentina Could be the last opportunity.
However, after a campaign ravaged by injury and illness, he is unlikely to start, and perhaps not at all.
Even though Pep Guardiola has been turning seven players on a game-by-game basis in recent weeks, and Aguero is out of the midweek win over the Wolves, there is no guarantee that the No. 10 will be called back.
In fact, the importance of the game – a victory United would make City 17 points clear, effectively sealing the title – meant that Aguero was expected to be on the bench again.
It is a disappointing time for the most prolific player in the club's history, as he regularly tries to return to full fitness without the benefit of football.
Aguero has suffered sporadically throughout his decade with muscle injuries at the Etihad and has always needed minutes on the pitch to regain his pace.
However, after being on the shoreline for a long time, after more than a year, he saw Guardiola's side, and then moved on, without him.
It has now been more than a year since he either scored in the Premier League (January 21, 2020) or completed 90 minutes (February 19, 2020), with Aguero unfortunately at an important point in his career. Experienced a rotten.
After a three-month hiatus of football after the Kovid-19 outbreak, Aguro suffered a serious knee injury in the second game of ‘Project Restart'.
The withdrawal after surgery in October was mitigated by a hamstring injury And He later had to quarantine himself after close contact with someone testing positive for Kovid-19 before getting the virus.
The city, meanwhile, just got better and better in the interim.
Aguero was also sidelined by the services of fellow striker Gabriel Jesus for the crucial break of the season, with Guardiola turning his side while playing without a conservative center-forward, resulting in a unimaginable third Premier League title in four years At the same time, both were in contention to win the domestic cup competitions, as well as the Champions League.
And his most successful and dynamic football has come with attacking midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, Rahm Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Ilkay Gundogan, playing as the ‘false nine'.
He has also shared roles during the game, while it is worth noting that even Jesus has diversified his game so that he can play a role in this fluid forward line.
All of this has left Aguero looking like a strange man since returning to full training. Indeed, he has played just 94 minutes during the current 21 game winning streak.
His only start, meanwhile, was against West Ham last weekend, when City struggled 2–1 and Aguero cut a frustrated man For hours he was on the pitch.
He even gave the ball for the goal, which led to Mikhail Antonio's equalizer and not a single shot of any kind was recorded.
It was also revealed that Midweek win over Wolves, When the game was tied with a goalscorer with 10 minutes remaining, Aguero never left to warm the back. Instead, Gundogan came in and City scored three times.
Guardiola insisted that Aguero still has a big part to play in City's campaign in an unprecedented quadruple chase, but the Catalan coach is still set to continue with a system that has proved spectacularly successful .
“I always feel that we need him at the right moments in this part of the season because he has a special talent and quality,” Guardiola said. “He's going to help.
“In the end, there will be games that are tight and tough, and we need kun. We need people who can score a goal and in those words the best man is that. But he came back after a year and needed time if any player was injured. “
But it is not just the immediate future that is uncertain, Aguero does not yet know where he will play this football next season.
His status as a club legend means he will be given every chance to get a new deal and Egero is deemed open to stay in the Etihad.
However, if she were to be available, there would be no shortage of quality suitors with Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and the former Club Independent all being offered as potential destinations.
Meanwhile, the city may be in the market for Forward this summer, with Borlinga Dortmund's Erling Häland being associated.
Aguero has long established himself as one of the greatest strikers of the Premier League era, sitting fourth on the list of all-time goalkeepers, and he still believes he has a lot to offer. Is more for
A winner against United on Sunday will certainly be a welcome reminder of how he played such an important role in transferring success from Manchester's red half to the blue half over the past decade.
Of course, a hat-trick would be even better, as it would strengthen its place in derby history. At this stage, however, and after the season, he will probably settle for some playing time.