Pep Guardiola calls Sergio Aguero “brilliant” after Sunderland win

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Maybe put a freeze on those Sergio Aguero transfer rumors?

After the Argentinian scored in Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Sunderland on Sunday, his 12th goal of the season, Guardiola called Aguero’s performance “brilliant” and labeled him “important,” a description with clear intention amid all the rumors of Aguero’s imminent departure from the club.

Guardiola claimed after the match that he has an “exceptional relationship” with Aguero, and labeled the goals he scores “so important to us,” calling his performance “brilliant.”

“I am and I was from the beginning very pleased from the performance by Sergio,” Guardiola said, speaking in his usual torrid pace and mumbling tone. “I know when this kind of huge player sometimes doesn’t play, there’s always a debate, it’s always ‘why why why.’ But we have an exceptional relationship, we are honest from the beginning, and I said to him when Gabriel came it’s because in that time it was good and I wanted to give things continuity. But of course in the future they have to both [play] when they’re fit. Of course it’s so important to us, his goals. The last game against Hull simply awesome, he scored two goals; today he scored another one and he helped us a lot in our game, in our buildup. So again, it was brilliant, really brilliant.”

Aguero was benched by Guardiola in favor of in-form Gabriel Jesus, and only reclaimed his place after Jesus suffered a broken foot that will keep him out for much of the – if not the entire – rest of the season. That sparked rumors of Aguero’s displeasure under Guardiola, with the 28-year-old even admitting he’s unsure of his future after this season.

Clearly, the Spanish manager is looking to dispel as many of those rumors as possible, claiming Aguero is vital to Manchester City’s success.