Premier League: Man City's Pablo Zabaleta hails Sergio Aguero
Argentinian ace Pablo Zabaleta believes Manchester City are "very lucky" to have Sergio Aguero at the club.
Last Updated: 20/01/14 11:56am
After a month on the sidelines, Aguero has wasted little time getting back into his goalscoring groove, coming off the bench to strike against Blackburn and Cardiff in his first two comeback matches.
Despite missing eight games with a calf injury suffered in December, the 25-year-old already has 21 goals to his name this season.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini hailed Aguero as the world's third-best player behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo before his injury and Zabaleta does not disagree.
The defender said: "I'm really happy to see him back.
"He needs to get back to his best in a physical way because he's been out for a month, but he took 50 seconds to score a goal when he came back against Blackburn and, on Saturday, 20 minutes.
"It's so easy for him. Every time we talk about good strikers, Sergio is one of the best in the world.
"Probably Messi and Ronaldo at the moment are in a different world, but I think Sergio is one of the best and we are very lucky to have him in the team."
It says much for free-scoring City's attack that Aguero was hardly missed during his absence, with Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko maintaining the prolific output, and Pellegrini's side have now scored 103 goals this season as they chase glory in four competitions.
Zabaleta added: "In football you have to be prepared for when someone important is missing or suspended.
"It was great to see him back again but Edin and Negredo have been doing really well without him.
"Sometimes the competition between them is all about scoring goals. It doesn't matter who plays, it's all about doing well for the team."
Yet for all the attention on City's attack, Zabaleta did admit frustration that they conceded in the 4-2 victory over bottom-of-the-table Cardiff, ending a run of three successive clean sheets.
The 29-year-old added: "It's nice when you see we've scored so many goals but as defenders we talk about clean sheets.
"That's something we need to improve. At this stage of the season, to keep a clean sheet in games is crucial.
"We know that any time we can score, so it's important to be a balanced team."