Independiente returned to work this week after the Christmas and New Year celebrations and new manager Lucas Pusineri took to the training field looking to provide El Rojo with a fresh start in 2020.
Languishing in the bottom half of the table having missed out on all of their objectives last year, Independiente turned to the former player to replace Sebastián Beccacece and Pusineri has been talking about his vision for the club.
“I have a good friendship with Kun, I talk to him frequently, we spoke only a few hours ago,” Pusineri said.
“I have visited him, we are close because when he made his debut [for Independiente] I was in the squad and I always tried to help the young players.”
Agüero made his debut as a fifteen-year-old with Independiente in 2003, becoming the youngest player to debut in the Primera division, less than a year after Pusineri had written himself into the club’s history with a title winning goal against Boca Juniors.
Both would leave the club in 2006, Agüero to Atlético Madrid and Pusineri a brief spell with River Plate before returning to El Rojo for a third stint. Since hanging up his boots, Pusineri has been prepping for managerial life and after working as an assistant to Claudio Borghi at Argentinos Juniors, Pusi visited Manchester City as part of a European coaching tour.
A couple of years in charge of Cúcuta Deportivo and Deportivo Cali in Colombia have paved the way for Pusineri’s return to Avellaneda and he now dreams of a reunion.
“His [Agüero’s] development has been unbelievable, he is a crack. With my stay, I hope for the return of my dear Kun in the future.
“He is assured of a place because he has a sense of belonging at Independiente that few have. The doors are open.”
Agüero’s Manchester City contract being extended until 2021 means any romantic return to the Estadio Libertadores de América remains in the distance and Pusineri must focus on a season that resumes in only only two weeks.
“We want to assemble a good team that can identify with the Independiente supporters. What I ask and want is to be an attacking team that takes hold of a game. This is a game of possession, of knowing how to have it, being able to tire out the opponent and being able to harm it.”
As it stands Independiente are yet to make any moves in the transfer market with the club’s finances dictating few incomings. The popular Nicolás Domingo has left for Olimpia and much of the speculation surrounds which other players will be leaving rather than Pusineri identifying new targets.
“I’m going to keep players. who are committed to the club, with room for growth and from there build a good team. There is no point hanging on to players who have their heads elsewhere. Rumours of those leaving bring uncertainty so in the next few days we will see what squad we have to compete.”
Pusineri certainly has a tough start and after the rescheduled clash with River Plate on January 19th, Independiente face Boca Juniors, Rosario Central and Racing Club. A great deal of apprehension surrounds the club and the new manager will be desperate to make a good start to get supporters back behind the team.
“For me there is a competitive team here, a good base and we are going to train with a real intensity to ensure a good match on the 19th against River in front of our supporters. Independiente didn’t have a good second half of the year but we will try and put things in order.”