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.

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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent