Pablo Zabaleta insisted team-mate Sergio Aguero is strong enough to deal with the loss of his place in Manchester City’s starting XI.
Aguero has found himself out of Pep Guardiola’s line-up, with the City boss opting for Gabriel Jesus for the past three successive games.
After being left on the bench for City’s 2-1 Premier League win over Swansea City on Sunday, Aguero – who has scored 11 league goals this season – failed to guarantee his future at the Etihad Stadium.
However, fellow Argentina international Zabaleta is not concerned, saying: “He will be okay, 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.”
Guardiola has preferred a 4-3-3 formation this term, meaning Aguero and recruit Jesus are vying for the lead striking role.
And Zabaleta conceded there could only be room for one of the forwards.
“Of course, if the manger decides to play them both together, they could do that,” added Zabaleta.
“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.”