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Zabaleta backs Aguero, says striker used to fighting for spot in team

Manchester, Feb 7: Manchester City and Argenti full back Pablo Zabaleta on Tuesday backed his football club’s teammate Sergio Aguero saying he is used to battling top strikers for a place in the starting XI.

Since the arrival of Brazilian Gabriel Jesus, Aguero has fallen down the pecking order and was dropped for a second successive game on Sunday.

“Football is like this — especially with the big squads, where you have more than one big player in each position,” Zabaleta was quoted as saying by espnfc.

“And of course, Sergio has been playing for most of the years as first choice. Now we have Gabriel Jesus, who played the last two games and did really well.

“I think it’s good to have two players with that quality. I think it’s always good to have healthy competition in the team — you know you have to perform well to keep your place in the team and that’s normal for the big squads.

“He’s a mature guy. Listen, years ago it was (Carlos) Tevez, (Mario) Balotelli, (Edin) Dzeko and Kun (Aguero). It’s not the first time he’s been dropped. We need a strong squad to win titles.”

Jesus, 19, has scored three goals in three matches since arriving in January following his $33.3 million move from Palmeiras.

City are now third in the English Premier League.

“He was so happy (after the game) — he’s having a good moment,” Zabaleta said of Jesus. “It’s fantastic when you come to England and you score three goals in three games, two assists. Hopefully, he can continue doing this.”

“If the mager decides to try to play them both together, they could do that. But we play in a 4-3-3 with one central striker, two wingers wide. That’s why probably at the moment one of them needs to play up front on his own.”

“I heard Gabriel can play on the left. I’ve not seen him much in that position to be honest but probably he can play there,” he added. IANS