Sergio Aguero has said he found it difficult to adapt to Pep Guardiola’s demands when the former Barcelona coach first arrived at Manchester City.
Guardiola wanted more work from the striker and Aguero said he had a tough time, particularly when he lost his place to Gabriel Jesus.
But the Argentina international has been back to his best this season, scoring 30 goals to become the club’s all-time record scorer despite a number of injury setbacks.
“Pep is a very demanding coach and adapting to what he wanted was not easy during the first year,” Aguero told Argentine TV channel TYC Sports.
“Besides my responsibilities as a striker, he wanted to get me involved as the first defender of the team. When Gabriel Jesus arrived, he had more options and I started to play less.
“I kept giving my best in practice and working hard so, when Gabriel went down with an injury, I was able to come back stronger and scored a lot of goals.
“I think this year we were on the same page with Pep. He told me he was happy with my performance and his anger was worth it because I had a better year.”
But Aguero said: “I think it’s impossible. Maybe in the past we had chances to play together, but we have a certain age now … Leo eventually will stay there and I’ll end up staying with City.”
Aguero is set to be in the Argentina World Cup squad after recovering from a knee problem, having had surgery following City’s Champions League exit to Liverpool.
“The truth is that I’ve been suffering with my knee since 2013,” he said. “I had a lot of problems that season, and small episodes after that with my knee, something always was bothering me.
“I talked to the Manchester City doctors this year and we said we’re going to wait because we were still in the Champions League.
“It did not improve so we talked with Pep and he was very supportive. He told me to stay calm and to take care of my knee.
“So, after we were eliminated from the Champions League, I talked to the doctors, I told them that I wanted to be ready for the World Cup so the best option was to have surgery.
“After five years, I feel no pain and my knee feels like new. Having problems with my meniscus caused an overload in the hamstring, the quadriceps, the gluteus now I feel different because my knee is cured.
“For example, for the last five years I couldn’t flex my knee all the way and now I can do it. It’s a total relief.”
Jonathan is ESPN FC’s Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.