Mancini: Aguero can hit 30

Signed in the summer for a club record £38million, Aguero has
taken no time to adjust to Premier League life. The Argentina star
bagged two more goals in Wednesday night’s win over Stoke to take
his overall tally to 15, 13 of which have come during City’s surge
to the Premier League summit. However, Mancini doesn’t want the
23-year-old former Atletico Madrid man to stop now. With Manchester
United just two points adrift of their neighbours heading into the
Christmas programme, Mancini wants Aguero to lead City’s striking
team to even greater achievements. “I hope Sergio can score 30
goals,” said the Blues boss. “It is the same for Edin (Dzeko) and
Mario (Balotelli). If they scored 50 goals between them it would be
good for us.” Although it was generally acknowledged across Europe
that Aguero was a player of exceptional talent, he could hardly
have been expected to open his City career in such prolific
fashion. He joined the club at the end of July, when he came off
the back of an arduous and unsuccessful Copa America campaign with
Argentina. Normally, players who have taken part in the South
American championship either start slowly due to their lack of a
pre-season programme, or flag after a couple of months because of
tiredness. Aguero has so far avoided both problems. “Sergio is very
strong physically,” said Mancini. “He is not tall but his strength
is amazing. “Also, he has always scored goals in every
championship. For this reason I don’t think he has had any
problems. “He is still only young and maybe now his value is even
more because he has scored 15 goals in three or four months. “He
has the confidence to score even more but what is important at the
moment is that he has improved our team.” There is little doubt
Mancini would want Aguero in his side for the major matches against
Liverpool, all three of them, Manchester United and Tottenham in
January. It is therefore quite possible the striker will be rested
for either the Boxing Day trip to West Brom and the New Year’s Day
excursion to Sunderland. That would require Dzeko to recover from
the ankle injury that kept him out of the Stoke win though. Micah
Richards is City’s other minor fitness doubt ahead of Monday’s
encounter at The Hawthorns. That game brings Mancini together with
Roy Hodgson, whom he encountered during the Englishman’s two spells
in charge of Inter Milan. “Roy is a fantastic manager,” said
Mancini. “He knows all about football. He has managed a national
team, he has managed in Italy and England, and has very strong
experiences.” Hodgson was credited with keeping West Brom in the
Premier League last term following an ill-fated short stint at
Liverpool. And, whilst the Baggies have struggled at times this
year, successive away wins have got them moving in the right
direction again. “I always enjoy it at West Brom because the crowd
is so passionate,” said Mancini. “They are a good team, who have
just won their last two games away from him. “If we want to win
there we need to play very well.”