Ossie Ardiles says Manchester City will be making a huge mistake if they decide to sell Carlos Tevez.
Tevez's days at City appear to be numbered after the club revealed he refused to go on the pitch during Tuesday night's Champions League tie with Bayern Munich.
The Argentine has since come out and denied the claims, insisting instead it was all a misunderstanding between himself and manager Roberto Mancini.
City are currently investigating the incident and Ardiles says he will not criticise his countryman until there is an outcome.
"I certainly want to defend Carlos Tevez because of how I believe everyone is attacking him," the former Tottenham star told Soccer AM.
"There is going to be an investigation and Carlos is very clearly saying that how Roberto Mancini is saying things happened is not the real truth so we have to wait a little bit.
"After saying that, I don't wish to justify (what) Carlos did, but certainly he is a wonderful, wonderful player I believe he deserves another opportunity."
Tevez was handed a maximum suspension of two weeks following the incident in Munich and does not appear to be in Mancini's plans.
But Ardiles says City will only be shooting themselves in the foot if they choose to sell rather than resolve any issues.
"You don't get rid of your aces or your best players," he added.
"You remember a year ago, more or less, quite a big problem happened between (Wayne) Rooney and Manchester United.
"But Sir Alex Ferguson cooled everything down and Rooney at the end of the day was the best player in the league last season and Manchester United won the championship, so this is what I think should happen right now with Carlos Tevez.
"With all the superstars at Manchester City, without a shadow of a doubt Carlos is the number one.
"You go back to May and he was by far the best player and even with (Sergio) Aguero and all the centre forwards Manchester City have, for me Carlos Tevez is still the best player.
"I think Manchester City are going to make a real, real mistake if you get rid of your best player. It's unthinkable, you never get rid of your best players and certainly not your best player.
"Manchester City need Carlos Tevez and Tevez needs Manchester City."
The 27-year-old has been widely condemned this week by fans and pundits, including former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness who described Tevez as a 'bad apple'.
But Ardiles says such accusations are unfair and insists the striker like all top players simply wants to play football all the time.
"Carlos Tevez just hates being on the bench," he said.
"This is what happened at Manchester United. He was incredibly happy there but suddenly when Sir Alex started with the rotation and he wasn't the number one anymore he started to have problems.
"You try and explain that to Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi for example. They won't allow themselves to be on the bench. Of course they're better, but Tevez is not far from there. He is a wonderful, wonderful player as well."