Pep Guardiola has been criticised by former Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha after the boss paid an emotional tribute to Sergio Aguero on Sunday.
The 32-year-old joined Man City in 2011 for around £35m from Atletico Madrid. He has enjoyed a remarkable ten years with the Premier League champions.
In this time, he has netted 260 goals from 389 appearances across all competitions.
Aguero has won the Premier League five times with Man City. He has also helped them win the Carabao Cup six times and the FA Cup once.
The striker is out of contract this summer and he has announced that he is leaving City. He is expected to join Barcelona on a two-year deal.
Guardiola paid an emotional tribute to the striker after City’s win over Everton on Sunday. He insisted that Aguero cannot be replaced:
“We love him so much. He’s a… he’s a very special person for all of us.
“He’s so nice, he’s so nice.
“He helped me a lot. We cannot replace him. We cannot. There are many players that grab your heart, David Silva, help this club be what it is.
“He showed his quality in 20 minutes [against Everton].”
“He is a special person for all of us. He is so nice. He helped me a lot. We cannot replace him. We cannot.” 😢
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 23, 2021
In an interview with ESPN (as cited by The Daily Express), Onuoha suggested that if Guardiola wanted to keep Aguero, he should have:
“Yeah, it’s interesting, this.
“I really like Pep Guardiola and I love Sergio Aguero, but the fact that Pep Guardiola’s letting Sergio Aguero go, it’s like ‘you don’t have to be so emotional’.
“If you want him, just keep him. But ultimately they’ve got other plans in play and they’re looking at the long-term nature of the club. It’s a shame.”
Meanwhile, Guardiola revealed after City beat Everton 5-0 on the final day that Aguero is close to “agreeing” a move to Barcelona:
“I’m pretty sure – maybe I reveal a secret – he is close to agreeing a deal for the club of my heart, for Barcelona.
“He is going to be playing alongside the best player of all time, Lionel Messi.
“I’m pretty sure he is going to enjoy. And maybe Barcelona are stronger and stronger with him on the pitch.”