If you haven't heard by now, Manchester City star Sergio Aguero was subbed off during Argentina's World Cup Qualifying loss against Ecuador with an apparent hamstring injury. The injury could not have come at a worse time for both player and club, as Aguero had recently found his scoring boots again for City, bagging 5 goals against Newcastle in the midst of an already-troubling injury crisis for the team. Aguero is now expected to miss around a month.
As if that wasn't bad enough, David Silva then had to be taken off after just nine minutes of Spain's match against Luxembourg with a sprained ankle following a poor tackle. Silva has been one of the best players, if not the best, in the entire league thus far and as such this is another hammering blow. Silva will be out for three weeks.
You'd be hard pressed to find two more important players receiving lengthy injuries simultaneously at other clubs in England this season. This will be a big test for Manuel Pellegrini, who is now without Vincent Kompany, Gael Clichy, Fabian Delph, Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, Aguero, and Silva.
Complaints about the frequency and needlessness of international breaks aside, what should City do to manage without two of its biggest star players?
The absence of Aguero means Pellegrini only has two healthy natural strikers remaining on the squad, in the form of Wilfried Bony and young Kelechi Iheanacho. While neither is Sergio Aguero, both could fill in as the solo striker in the 4-5-1. They could also form a partnership in a 4-4-2, but that hasn't been tried once yet this season and is a gamble on their health as well.
Raheem Sterling is another option to fill in at striker, which Pellegrini has hinted at earlier in the campaign. It's been done before during Sterling's time at Liverpool as well. However, without Silva, Sterling is also needed in the midfield. Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne, and Jesus Navas remain healthy and can play in their natural positions in the 4-5-1, with the two Ferns behind them as Toure and Delph edge closer to full fitness. It would seem this is the most likely scenario to occur, with Bony starting ahead of them.
While this situation is not ideal, it may also provide a chance or two for some of the young guys to get another crack at making an impact in the first team. Patrick Roberts certainly seems like the next healthy option off bench in the wing/attacking midfield positions until Nasri returns, and Iheanacho will see a large chunk of minutes as well.
Now more than ever, players will need to step up and leadership needs to be a priority. While the upcoming schedule is not overwhelmingly difficult, two Champions League ties against Sevilla and the derby loom on the horizon.
Any other ideas on how City should manage this situation? Let us know in the comments.