- Benjamin Wolfe
Sergio 'Kun' Agüero - The Greatest Premier League Striker Ever
Manchester City's record goalscorer is 32 years of age and the sun is about to set on his time at the Etihad. The club has just announced he will leave at the end of the season when his contract expires. It is hard to imagine a City team without the Argentine, but he will leave. The last remaining player from Roberto Mancini’s 2012 title-winning side. I might actually cry. To replace the greatest goal scorer City, and England has ever seen is likely to be extremely difficult, if not impossible.
In the official club announcement, Khaldoon Al Mubarak described Sergio Kun Agüero's indelibly etched legend and announced that a statue for Agüero has been commissioned to stand alongside those currently in work to honour Vincent Kompany and David Silva:
"Sergio’s contribution to Manchester City over the last 10 years cannot be overstated. His legend will be indelibly etched into the memories of everyone who loves the Club and maybe even in those who simply love football. This is not yet the moment for farewell words and speeches. There is still much to achieve in the remainder of the time we have with Sergio, and we look forward to his contributions to the challenges which lay ahead. In the meantime, it gives me great pleasure to announce that we will be commissioning an artist to create a statue of Sergio to live at the Etihad Stadium alongside the ones under construction for Vincent and David. And we look forward to the opportunity to bid Sergio a fitting farewell at the end of the season."
In his official announcement, Agüero said:
"When a cycle comes to an end, many sensations arise. A huge sense of satisfaction and pride remains in me for having played with Manchester City for a whole ten seasons - unusual for a professional player this day and age. Ten seasons with major achievements, throughout which I was able to become the top historic goalscorer and forging an indestructible bond with all those who love this club - people who will always be in my heart. I was to join during the reconstruction era of 201 1, and with the guidance of the owners and the contributions of many players, we earned a place among the greatest of the world. The task to maintain this well-deserved privileged position will remain on others. As for myself, I will continue to give it my utmost for the rest of the season to win more titles and bring more joy to the fans. Then, a new stage with new challenges will begin, and I am fully ready to face them with the same passion and professionalism that I have always dedicated to continue competing at the highest level."
Back in July 2011 few people realised how successful the Argentine striker was going to be. City paid only £35 million for him. To put that fee into context, Andy Carroll joined Liverpool from Newcastle that same year for £35 million. The difference in the career trajectories of the two players from that point is stark. For City though, Agüero was a bargain up there to rival any in the sports' history.
Agüero was no unknown quantity, having scored over 100 goals for Atlético de Madrid by the age of 23. He had also already tasted success with a Europa League win in 2010 paired with the Super Cup that same year. Yet here he was, joining a club with an FA Cup win earlier in 2011 being the first trophy the club had won since 1976. The club was without a league title since 1968. Aguero was here to change that.
In his time at the club, Agüero has scored 257 goals and provided 73 assists in 384 appearances. These have been a major factor in the greatest period of sustained success in the clubs' long history. In his first season at the club, in a new country, he smashed in 30 goals (23 in the league) including one in the 1-6 demolition of Manchester United at Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson described this loss as his 'worst ever day'. He capped the season off with the world-famous goal vs QPR in injury time on the final matchday to beat Manchester United to the Premier League title on goal difference. The moment was forever immortalised by commentator Martin Tyler. You can simply mention the goal to a City fan (or any football fan!) and you'll receive the commentary verbatim.
'Manchester City are still alive here. Balotelli...AGUEROOOOOOOO. I swear you'll never see anything like this ever again. So, watch it. Drink it in.'
Agüero and Manchester City had arrived. The future was there for the taking and take it he did. He has amassed quite the collection of accolades in his time here.
· He has four Premier League titles, five League Cups, an FA Cup, and three Community Shields.
· In the Premier League alone he has 181 goals and 54 assists in 271 appearances. The goals being a City record.
· He is the Premier League’s all-time leading overseas goal scorer.
· He has 43 goals in Europe, 37 of those in the Champions League for City. Again, both City records.
· He has the best goals to minutes ratio in Premier League history as well as the best non-penalty goals and assists per minutes in Premier League history.
· He surpassed Eric Brook as the clubs' record goalscorer with a goal against Napoli in November 2017.
· He holds the record for the most Premier League hat-tricks with a ridiculous 12 hat-tricks.
· He holds the joint record for the most goals scored in a single Premier League match with five against Newcastle in October of 2015. He is the fastest to do so, however, completing his goal spree in 23 minutes and 34 seconds. He completed the five-goal haul with just nine touches between the first goal and fifth goal. Astonishing.
Agüero has played under three different managers in his time here. Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and Pep Guardiola. Each has imposed his own style on the football we play, and also his own demands on our number one striker. Guardiola in particular has asked much more of Aguero than any previous manager. He has adapted his game to suit whatever is required of him at each turn. He's a natural goal scorer and he loves the beautiful game.
When Agüero was approaching the club record for goals scored, Pep Guardiola said of the player:
"He's a legend, and it's a part of history in the club. Agüero's numbers speak for themselves – he is amazing."
The core players to our transition into a powerhouse of a team, and a club capable of winning silverware, have been Yaya Toure, David Silva, Vincent Kompany and Sergio Agüero. Three of this number have already departed. Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Yaya Toure. Sergio's future is now certain, painfully so. He will join them in leaving our beloved club. There are still chances to add to his legacy in Manchester. With City in the League Cup final once again, leading in the Premier League, in the semi-final of the FA Cup and advancing through the Champions League, his glittering collection of trophies could yet grow. We as fans must savour every single minute we have left with our greatest ever player here with us.
I wrote this with tears in my eyes. You will have the backing of the fans for all time, Sergio. You are the last of that glorious Manchester City team to go. When the sun finally sets on your career in Manchester it will truly be the end of an era, not only at City but the end of an era in English football.
To you Sergio, forever blue.