LONDON — Pep Guardiola said he believes Sergio Aguero could be even better this season after a knee operation removed a long-term problem, after the forward scored twice in the the Community Shield victory over Chelsea.
The Argentina striker scored his 200th goal of his City career to open the scoring in the first half before adding another a second as Guardiola’s side picked up their first silverware of the season with a 2-0 win at Wembley.
Aguero missed the final six matches of last season to have a knee operation in Barcelona and Guardiola said he has returned fresh and ready for the new campaign.
“We were really impressed when he arrived. Sergio always has a little bit with his physicality. Maybe he needs a little bit more time to take his physical condition. But he arrived so sharp, so good,” Guardiola told a news conference.
“I think at the end of last season, the knee operation [helped]. He suffered the previous years with a little bit of a problem and Ramon Cugat — the best doctor in the world — made the perfect surgery and now he feels free.
“I think it’s good news for us for the season. He scored two goals, produced chances, he could have scored three or four or five. That is good. Him with Gabriel [Jesus] in that position we are in a good position.”
Guardiola praised the desire of some of his players with many only just coming back to training this week but playing a full 90 minutes in sweltering conditions.
Portuguese playmaker Bernardo Silva, who was the only World Cup player to have any minutes on their preseason tour to the United States, was picked out for special praise.
“Congratulations to both team because those conditions are so complicated with the heat,” Guardiola said.
“It’s complicated for all of them but they are such competitive guys. They are my pride. Hats off because it is not easy to play with such a short time.
“[Bernardo] is so intelligent, he is clever. He is a fighter, a competitor. I think he is the guy most beloved in our team and today he showed me a lot of things.
“He came back earlier and that showed me again a lot of things and that’s one of the reasons we won today. It was for many reasons. One of the reasons was Bernardo.”
Guardiola now has seven days before the Premier League opener away to Arsenal but will not rule out bringing another player before the window shuts on Thursday.
“I don’t know. We are trying,” he said, when asked about a potential signing. “We would like to find maybe one more because we don’t have two specific players to substitute Fernandinho. But if he doesn’t come, there will not come anyone else.”