Sergio Aguero is set to return from his one month injury layoff against Liverpool, and his Manchester City teammate Pablo Zabaleta believes that he could just be the man to lead them to Premier League success.
Argentina international striker Aguero suffered a hamstring injury against Barcelona in the Champions League on March 12 and went off at half time. Since then, he has been on the sidelines and has been battling hard to recover.
The former Atletico Madrid forward is now ready to make his long-awaited comeback against title-challengers and current league leaders Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.
City will head into the game four points behind their hosts but with two games in hand. Manuel Pellegrini’s side have destiny in their own hands: win all of the seven matches and they will reclaim the Premier League title.
Zabaleta is one of the longest-serving members of this City squad, having been at the club since 2008. In 2011-12, the 29-year-old observed a dramatic fallout between Carlos Tevez and then manager Roberto Mancini. His Argentine compatriot went back to South America for six months, but was eventually persuaded to return.
Tevez came back and proved to be a crucial factor in City winning the league title for the first time since 1968. Now it will be Aguero who will make it happen, claims Zabaleta, one of the most accomplished and consistent full-backs in the Premier League.
"Sergio is fit,” The Guardian quotes him as saying. “He has been training well with the team for a few days now but he was not 100% to play against Southampton, so that is why the manager decided to leave him out and let him be fully ready for the next game against Liverpool.
"It's a good time for him to come back. I can see why people say it's similar to Tevez returning – although it's a different situation. Like with Carlos, it's great for any team to have the best players back in the team again, particularly at this part of the season.
“That's the good news for us. He is an important player and he is going to score goals. He is fast, he is quick. Sometimes we need a player like Sergio."
Aguero moved to City from Atletico back in 2011 for a reported transfer fee of £38 million and has been a huge success for the Citizens. 23 goals and eight assists in his debut Premier League campaign was followed by 12 goals and two assists in an injury-hit 2012-13 season.
This term under Pellegrini, the 25-year-old has once again hit the heights, scoring 15 goals and providing five assists in 15 league starts and six in six Champions League matches, despite his season being punctuated by injuries.
Aguero’s return against Liverpool, even if he starts on the bench, would be a massive boost to City’s quest for the Premier League title.