Earlier in the week, rumors circulated that Sergio Agüero was set to miss the remainder of Argentina’s World Cup. The Manchester City forward limped off in the first half of his side’s thrilling 3-2 draw with Nigeria on Wednesday.
On Thursday, team spokesman Andres Ventura denied reports that Kun would miss the remainder of the World Cup. However, Argentina has now confirmed that he will miss the next match, against Switzerland on July 1. Agüero has sustained a muscle injury in his left thigh and although it is a grade 1 – the least serious – he won’t be ready in time.
Cynics might say that Argentina are better off without Agüero. Despite having a much-lauded front four, with Kun, Ángel di María, Gonzalo Higuaín and Lionel Messi, the albiceleste had to rely on moments of brilliance from Messi to carry them through their first two games. The Barcelona forward also scored two against Nigeria, with Marco Rojo providing the ultimate winner.
Agüero, on the other hand, has contributed little, with ESPN even going so far as to name him in the worst XI of the group stages. He’s left each match before 90 minutes were up, but against Nigeria, when he was pulled in the 38th minute, the difference was particularly noticeable. On came Ezequiel Lavezzi, looking sprightly out wide and able to get himself into dangerous positions.
There’s no word yet on whether Agüero will be fit for the quarter-finals, should Argentina overcome Switzerland. But if Lavezzi continues to play well in his absence, perhaps his fitness levels will be a moot point.