Bobby Charlton impressed by 'exciting' Sergio Aguero

Sir Bobby Charlton believes Manchester United are well placed to retain the Barclays Premier League title but expects an "exciting" battle with a Sergio Aguero-inspired Manchester City.

City threw down the challenge to the champions on Monday as record signing Aguero enjoyed a sensational debut at the Etihad Stadium.

The £38million summer buy came off the bench to score twice and set up another goal as City launched their campaign with a 4-0 thrashing of promoted Swansea.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side were less convincing as they began their quest for a record-extending 20th title with a 2-1 win at West Brom on Sunday, but United legend Charlton is confident enough.

Charlton, 73, said: "He is marvellous, Alex. I don't know how he does it.

"Every year he comes up with something different - change of coach, change of players - he is just fantastic.

"We are there again, ready for the 20th."

He added: "Yes, I saw City. I watch all the football.

"The new lad's played really well. He'll be a hero.

"He is a class act and Manchester City have the wherewithal to get all the best players.

"But we shall see - it is getting exciting."

One early worry for United has been the form of new goalkeeper David de Gea.

The Spaniard, signed from Aguero's former club Atletico Madrid in the summer, was criticised after conceding twice in the Community Shield earlier this month and was also at fault for West Brom's goal at the weekend.

The 20-year-old has a tough task to fill the void left by the retired Edwin van der Sar but Charlton is convinced he will come good.

Charlton said: "He is a great goalkeeper and we knew about that when he was coming.

"But you have got to remember he has arrived in a strange city, a strange country where they don't speak the same language and they are more passionate about football than anybody, even in Spain.

"But Alex will work his magic and the staff will work their magic, and he will be one of the great players by the end of the season, definitely."

Ferguson has also freshened up his side following the retirements of Gary Neville and Paul Scholes by bringing in Ashley Young and giving a chance to a number of youngsters.

Charlton believes Ferguson, who will this year celebrate 25 years in charge at Old Trafford, has made the correct calls again.

He said: "I am really impressed with them.

"I think Alex surprised a lot of people by fielding a team like he did initially but he is always right. I don't know why, but he always is."

:: Charlton was speaking in Salford at the launch of the Laureus 'Urban Stars' project, which aims to engage disenfranchised youngsters with society by encouraging them to play sport.

News
people

Arts and Entertainment
JJ Abrams' seventh Star Wars, The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of Episode VII has gone online after weeks of anticipation
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game