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Guardiola hails Aguero as ace closes on Henry record

Manchester City's Sergio Aguero with manager Pep Guardiola

Sergio Aguero stands on the brink of another milestone as Premier League champions Manchester City head to Aston Villa this weekend.

The prolific Argentina striker needs just one more goal to equal Thierry Henry’s record 175 for a foreign player in the competition.

Aguero reached 174 with City’s opener in their 2-0 victory over Sheffield United a fortnight ago. He was then rested for the win over Everton on New Year’s Day.

After also sitting out the midweek Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg win at Manchester United, City’s all-time record goalscorer with 246 strikes in all competitions – 15 this season – is poised to return at Villa Park on Sunday.

City manager Pep Guardiola said: “He’s a guy in the box with a sense of goal. He can score from everywhere, in all the positions. He’s an incredible striker, incredible.

“That he will score more goals than a legend like Thierry Henry is an incredible achievement – many, many goals.”

Aguero’s Premier League goals, in 254 appearances, have come at a similar rate to those of Henry. The Frenchman played 254 times for Arsenal from 1999-2007 and then returned for a brief loan in 2012, playing four more times and scoring one goal.

If Aguero moves past Henry, only Frank Lampard (177), Andy Cole (187), Wayne Rooney (208) and Alan Shearer (260) will be ahead of him on the all-time Premier League goalscoring chart.

Guardiola is hoping City can maintain their recent momentum this weekend.

Since the loss to Wolves on December 27 that probably dealt a final blow to their hopes of retaining the title, City have won their last four matches in all competitions.

They face a Villa side who, although in relegation danger, have won two of their last three.

Guardiola said: “You have to play all the teams – sometimes at the top, sometimes the middle and sometimes the bottom. They’re a historic club with a fantastic stadium.

“They’ve changed, in the last games, their set-up and played more five than four at the back, maybe because of the absences with big injuries they’ve had.

“We’ll try to maintain the dynamic we have.”

One player Guardiola is wary of is Villa star Jack Grealish, who has impressed this season on his return to the top flight.

“I didn’t know him before I came here but he is an exceptional player,” Guardiola said.

Guardiola also admitted he would not be able to stop Leroy Sane from leaving should the German winger decide to pursue a move away from Manchester City.

“It’s a question for Leroy, his agents and the club. I’m not involved in that.

“What’s important now is that he has to recover well and after that he knows what we think of him, that we believe in him.

“It’s awkward because I cannot see him on the pitch. I was the guy who pushed the club and convinced him to come here.

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