Pep Guardiola was right at the weekend to say that Sergio Aguero won't solve all of Manchester City's issues in attack.
It is too simplistic to explain a return of ten goals from eight fixtures by pointing to the absence of Aguero and fellow striker Gabriel Jesus for most of the campaign; a look at their matches will show that the problem is at least down to the number and quality of chances being created as much as the abilities of those trying to finish them.
There is recent evidence for the City boss to draw on. Aguero returned against Arsenal in the Premier League in October for a 1-0 win, and then managed the first half against West Ham a week later in which his team failed to score before succumbing to another injury.
However, those appearances also spoke to what the team needed. Even if it wasn't reflected in scorelines, Aguero was selected for Arsenal not because he was fully fit but because Guardiola thought the rest of his side were struggling for goals and playing his best striker from the start would be the best way of changing that. With centre-forward not seen as the best use of Raheem Sterling, Aguero's presence on the pitch helped his teammates.
City's coach will know this as he contemplates how to bring the 32-year-old back into the side, and will also be aware that if his team are creating fewer chances - or fewer good ones, at least - then it is better to have a reliable goalscorer on the pitch so that those opportunities are not wasted.
But he will also be aware of the risk of rushing him back given how carefully the player needs managing. It took four months for the forward to recover from a knee injury that saw him sidelined for the resumption of the Champions League, and then three starts in a week on his return proved too much. City were concerned enough with their attack to at least contemplate adding to that area of the squad in the summer transfer window and the problems suffered by both Aguero and Jesus will only strengthen calls for them to sign another striker.
Manchester City resumed their Premier League campaign this weekend with a trip to London to play Tottenham Hotspur but left deflated after a 2-0 loss.
The Blues will be hoping to return to winning ways in the the Champions League on Wednesday as they travel to Greece to play Olympiacos.
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Whatever Guardiola's decision on bringing Aguero back into the team in the meantime, he needs help from the rest of his squad.
As Ruben Dias pointed out, every player has a responsibility to attack and too many of the creative players in the group have not been pulling their weight; Riyad Mahrez has not contributed to a league goal since the second game of the season, Kyle Walker is joint-third in those scoring charts while even Kevin De Bruyne has five fewer assists than he had at this point last year.
If Aguero can undoubtedly help City's attempts to score more goals, far more is needed from far more players within the squad if they are going to be potent enough to challenge for trophies. Unless that changes, it won't matter whether Aguero plays or not.