Sergio Aguero has warned Manchester City that his former team are far from a shoo-in to win the Premier League title as they are not the only side that has an elite striker in their ranks.
Nine matchdays into the Premier League season and City are the only unbeaten side left, having won seven and drawn two matches. The free-scoring form of summer signing Erling Haaland – who has scored 15 goals in just nine league outings – has created a false impression that City are running away with the title, when in reality Arsenal sit one point ahead of them at the top of the standings.
Aguero – City’s all-time leading goalscorer with 260 goals – has warned the Blues not to get carried away, particularly as some rivals are starting to recover from poor starts to the campaign.
“The Premier League constantly reminds us of its high rigour. Each single match is a major challenge, even when facing teams that might not seem like top-flight candidates,” Aguero told Stake.com.
“Clubs on the bottom of the table have been known to turn the tables on those leading it, so you can’t take anything for granted. You need to play every game like it’s a knockout match and you can’t afford any missteps.
“Then, you always have your clear competition for the title – Arsenal has shown to be one of the teams to beat this season. Chelsea seems to have recovered after the change in management. Conte’s Tottenham remains a tough rival and Manchester United is starting to make its case. Liverpool can’t go unmentioned, even if they haven’t had a stellar start – they’re always a dangerous lot to face.”
Arsenal have surprised a lot of people by enjoying such a good start to the season, as many expected City, Chelsea and Liverpool to be a cut above the rest. For Aguero, it’s clear that Gabriel Jesus – who City sold to Arsenal for £45m in the summer – has had a great impact in north London.
“Gabriel [Jesus] has always had good respect, he’s truly a complete player. Now, he’s been able to secure a place among the main squad for Arsenal, and his team has many young players with a hunger for glory.
“[Mikel] Arteta has really been able to imbue it with his style. This has all set up Gabriel to be a key piece of the team, and I’m very happy for it.”
The biggest factor in Arsenal’s transformation though has been Arteta himself.
“I’ve had a great relationship with Mikel [Arteta] when he was Pep’s assistant at City. He’s a fantastic guy – honest, clear-minded and able to connect with players. That’s a great combination. When a manager builds rapport with his players, that’s half the battle. I think that explains how Arsenal is doing right now.”