​Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has reaffirmed Sergio Aguero's importance to the team following his stunning double in the weekend win at West Brom, according to the ​Mirror.

Aguero struck twice to help City to a 4-0 win, with the club breaking their six-match winless run in the process. Aguero has - at times - been consigned to the bench over recent matches, and as a result, reports of him potentially being sold by City hit the headlines.

However, Guardiola went on to confirm that Aguero was an important part of his plans, saying after the game: “I said to him: ‘Thank you’. We need him. Without him we cannot achieve our target, it is impossible.”

Guardiola even went on to pay the Argentinian a massive compliment by claiming he was as good as Lionel Messi when it comes to finishing chances: “In the box he is at that level. To convince him, he has to believe how good he is and how we need him. He has to try.

“It is not about how many he scores because we are happy with the scoring. I am talking about he has to feel how important he is for us. When he is happy the team is happy.

“When he is good everything can happen in our team.”

City bagged another two goals through Ilkay Gundogan at the weekend, and find themselves top of the Premier League table after ten games. They are, however, level on points with both Liverpool and Arsenal, while Chelsea making up the top four and sit a further point back.

Aguero and City come up against Messi and Barcelona on Tuesday night at the Etihad Stadium, in the reverse fixture of their Champions League group stage clash a couple of weeks ago.

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