Pep Guardiola said English football owed a debt of gratitude to Sergio Aguero after the Argentina forward became the most prolific overseas player in Premier League history. Photo: Rui Vieira/AP Photo

Pep Guardiola said English football owed a debt of gratitude to Sergio Aguero after the Argentina forward became the most prolific overseas player in Premier League history.

Aguero’s hat-trick for Manchester City in the 6-1 win at Aston Villa took his tally to 177, past previous record holder Thierry Henry, who scored 175 in two spells with Arsenal.

The 31-year-old’s contract at City expires at the end of next season, and he indicated last May that he would be keen to return to boyhood club Independiente in Argentina.

Guardiola said: ‘It depends on him and the club. It’s his decision. There are many of these kind of players through the history of English football, and he helps to make the Premier League and English football better.

‘The best (player I’ve worked with) is Messi but of the rest, Sergio is absolutely one of the best, no doubt.

‘When you break this record, held by another incredible legend like Titi Henry, it means you’ve been consistent for many years.

‘It was an honour to be here the day he achieved it. Hopefully he can score many more. It depends on him.’

The result allowed City to nudge ahead of Leicester into second in the table — but Guardiola knows it is only a matter of time before the champions have to surrender their crown.

Liverpool are 14 points clear at the top, having dropped just two points in 21 games this season. City will have their chance of glory in the cup competitions, though, with Guardiola’s sights on a third Champions League title as a coach.

‘Liverpool? Forget about it,’ he said. ‘We would have liked to fight against them but we couldn’t. For many reasons, we couldn’t.’

Daily Mail