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Sergio Aguero is the most pivotal signing in Manchester City’s recent history and only a striker of Robert Lewandowski’s calibre could fill the Argentine’s boots when he moves on, says Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Those at the Etihad Stadium hope they will not be forced into the market for another frontman any time soon.Questions have, however, been asked of Aguero’s ongoing presence as the Blues face up to the threat of being stung with a two-year ban from European competition.
Ambitious performers, particularly those approaching the end of their careers, will be eager to ensure that they remain at the very highest level for as long as possible. That could lead to the likes of Aguero seeing their head turned, with plenty willing to offer fresh starts to proven performers.
Wright-Phillips admits that a South American frontman has become essential to City’s plans, with a man snapped up in 2011 and now the club’s all-time leading goalscorer considered to be the pick of the big-money deals pushed through by Sheikh Mansour’s regime in Manchester.
“Yes, I would definitely 100% have to say Serge,” former Blues winger Wright-Phillips told AmericanGambler. “Not many foreign players come in and hit the ground running as well as he has done, and consistently done it for eight or nine years.
“With injuries as well. He’s never really had a season without a few weeks out, he has been out through injuries and he still always races for the Golden Boot. He shows up in allthe big games. I think that he is definitely the most pivotal man.”
Whether Aguero chooses to move on in the next transfer window or works towards the end of a contract that is due to expire in 2021, at some point a successor will be required by City.
They already have Brazil international Gabriel Jesus on their books, but Wright-Phillips believes a forward such as prolific Bayern Munich star Lewandowski would be required in order to ensure that there is no noticeable dip in the final third.
The ex-England international added: “I had this conversation with my mate to the other day, and we both thought ‘who can you actually sign to replace him?’. There are a lot of great strikers out there, but are they going to come in and do what he has done for the last 10 years?
“Gabriel Jesus knows how to play his role and how to score the goals, so at the moment he is the natural replacement, and he knows the City way - but for somebody to come in and fill those big shoes, it’s a lot of pressure. Maybe Lewandowski, but he is getting on now.”