On Monday, 29 March, Manchester City announced that their record goalscorer Sergio Aguero would be leaving at the end of the season.
When the 32-year-old’s contract expires in May, it ends a 10-year stay at the club where he won four Premier League titles, five League Cups, three Community Shields and a FA Cup (all subject to change with a potential quadruple still on the cards for this season).
The Argentinian has provided City fans and the footballing world in general with many memorable moments, none more so than his dramatic title-winning goal on the last day of the 2011/2012 season against QPR, to bring the Citizens their first league championship in 44 years.
Many in East Manchester believe that Martin Tyler’s iconic pronunciation of the 5′ 8” centre forward’s surname still rings around the Etihad Stadium to this day and will continue to do so for years to come.
But Aguero’s departure has now opened the debate on where he ranks on the all-time list of great Premier League strikers. In comparison to the likes of Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry and Wayne Rooney.
So, lets us identify what makes Aguero so special and why there is a very strong case to name him the best of the best when it comes to finding the back of the net.
Aguero’s legendary status at City is undeniable. Alongside Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany and David Silva, the iconic frontman helped to turn the Sky Blues from the new kids on the block back in 2011 to a modern-day footballing dynasty. Which is currently on course to win its third Premier League title in four years.
While the Citizens record goalscorer does not top the league’s all-time list for goals scored, it is only because he has played less than 400 league games (only sixth place Thierry Henry has played fewer games then the Argentinian in the whole top 10*).
Despite playing 170 fewer games than third-place Andy Cole, the former Atletico Madrid striker has only scored six fewer.
*Eighth-place Harry Kane has also played less but is still an active player and likely to surpass Aguero’s total number of games.
Therefore, what represents a goalscorer better in this argument of greatness is how many minutes on average a player has played between each goal they have scored.
It is in this department where Aguero stands alone. According to Opta Sports, City’s talisman has scored a goal on average every 108 minutes (a ratio that is no doubt helped by the record 13 hat-tricks that he has to his name).
This relentless consistency for scoring goals means that Aguero’s ratio is 13 minutes faster than second-place Henry.
Many consider the former Arsenal and French international superstar to be the best to ever ply their trade on English soil. But he and the rest of the top five (who are only separated by seven minutes) are well behind Sergio.
This incredible goal-scoring repetition has meant that Aguero has been the man that all three City managers (Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and Pep Guardiola) have relied on to bring them success during the past 10 years. Not just being the team’s main source of goals, but also delivering in the big games, when it mattered most.
Against the so called “big six” (Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal), Aguero has scored a phenomenal 44 goals, which yet again puts him top of another goalscoring-based list, ahead of the likes Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah and Jamie Vardy.
When looking through the list of greatest Premier League goal scorers, a clear distinguishing feature is a player who is British and spent the majority (if not all) of their career playing and scoring goals in England’s top flight.
For Aguero to be fourth on this list, having played considerably fewer games and barely being able to speak a word of English, is an astonishing achievement and highlights his world class ability. It begs the question how many goals he could have scored if he had started his career in England like Shearer, Rooney and Cole were all able to do.
The Argentinian has been pivotal to City being the most successful English team of the 2010’s. Leading the line with such great consistency for so many years and never allowing his side to finish lower then fourth in the table and miss out on Champions League qualification.
Meanwhile his employer’s main rivals, Chelsea and Manchester United, have been desperately throwing huge sums of money at numerous different strikers to try and find their own gunslinging goal hero (spending a combined total of £475 million on 18 different forwards since Aguero arrived in England) but have yet to find one as impactful as City’s current number 10.
As the Premier League rolls on without Aguero, the greatest ever Premier League goalscorer debate will continue. And the likes of Kane and Salah are almost a certainty to join the conversation if they continue to score goals at their current rate.
But when Sergio Aguero finally says goodbyes to Manchester City (potentially in a Champions League final) he leaves behind not only some incredible memories, goals and title-winning moments. But an entire catalogue of impressive statistics that puts him up there with the very best to ever lead the line at the highest level of English football.
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