Guardiola: Aguero still a key player for City

‘It will be a different in the Spanish Cup final’ – Valverde after Barca draw 2-2 with Eibar

Sergio Aguero remains a firm part of Pep Guardiola’s plans, despite being left out of the starting XI for Manchester City’s Champions League clash in Barcelona.

Aguero was restricted to a late substitute’s role in City’s 4-0 drubbing at the Nou Camp in midweek, with Guardiola preferring to use midfielder Kevin De Bruyne as a makeshift striker.

Inevitably, that prompted scrutiny over Aguero’s future under Guardiola, yet the City boss rubbished suggestions that the Argentine striker was anything but a key part of his plans at the Etihad.

“Aguero was a tactical decision, we wanted more in the middle,” said Guardiola.

“I try to keep the ball in Camp Nou because I believe when you have the ball, Messi, Suarez and Neymar don’t have it and they are still dangerous, but less dangerous.

“I spoke to Sergio about that, he was so understanding. He helped us a lot in the last minutes. That was the reason why.”

Guardiola reiterated that captain Vincent Kompany was also an important figure in his plans, although the Belgian international’s issue is regaining full fitness.

“When he is fit, he’s a real central defender. I like him,” added Guardiola.

“But we tried to take care of him. He went to the doctors in Barcelona and say I’m not able to play.”