Sergio Aguero Deserves More Respect
2011/12 Premier League Season
- Goals by Aguero: 23
- Top Scorer: Robin Van Persie with 30 (Arsenal)
Sergio Aguero's £35M signing from Atletico Madrid to Manchester City marked a serious, ambitious step forward for the sky blues in their hunt for a first Premier League title. Aguero came in off the back of his most prolific season to date with Atletico and a world-class reputation for bagging goals.
At the same time, Robin Van Persie was entering his final year in North London with Arsenal. This was the best season of the Dutchman's career, carrying a fairly mediocre team featuring the likes of Gervinho, Bendtner and Chamakh kicking and screaming into the top four. His thirty goals showcased the finished product in terms of a world-class striker, something Aguero would soon emulate.
The Premier League has seen countless strikers struggle to find the net when they hit the league, so it's hard to emphasis enough just how vital it was that Aguero hit the ground running. A goal on his debut against Swansea set the tone for the season, with the Argentine's pace and deadly accuracy proving to be the missing puzzle piece for a City side desperately needing goals previously.
That Infamous Final Goal
Van Persie might have won the golden boot for the most amount of goals, but it was Aguero's infamous final goal of the season that people really remember. Words cannot do justice to how significant and magical a moment it was when Aguero rushed through against that tiring QPR defence and slotted home an exquisite finish. Martin Tyler's classic scream of 'AGUEROOOO' has been replayed and rewatched millions of times and will always be remembered by football fans around the world.
His last-gasp winner that day has lived on as the Premier League's most exciting moment, was celebrated by everyone except United fans, and marked the decisive shift between Manchester eventually turning from red, to blue.
- Goals by Aguero: 12
- Top Scorer: Robin Van Persie with 26 (Manchester United)
Manchester United did not let Aguero's last-minute goal leave them reeling for long, however. Rallying under the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson's cry of 'I'm a winner' in his final season, the acquisition of Robin Van Persie from Arsenal would prove to be a masterstroke in the looming title race.
26 goals across the league season proved to be the difference for United as they produced stunning comeback after stunning comeback, dismantling City's title defence and confidence to boot.
As Roberto Mancini's issues with City continued to unravel throughout the season, Aguero experienced one of his more blunter periods. 12 goals across 30 games was certainly not the worst return of the season, but it did leave the Argentine in eighth place for top scorers.
- Goals by Aguero: 17
- Top Scorer: Luis Suarez with 31 (Liverpool)
The 2013/14 season was a strange one for Sergio Aguero. It saw the Argentine return to returning over twenty goals a season as Manchester City sealed yet another dramatic title win on the last day of the season; however, it was the first injury-hit season he had experienced in England. In a year where both Manchester City and Liverpool would hit over a hundred goals each, Aguero might have been on the verge of hitting new heights in his potential, had he remained fit throughout.
The season became known for the explosive frontlines of both City and Liverpool. The likes of Edin Dzeko and Yaya Toure were firing on all cylinders for City, whereas Liverpool had assembled the legendary 'SAS' frontline of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. It was Luis Suarez's deadly exploits in front of goal that drove Liverpool to within touching distance of the title, netting an impossible-to-beat 31 goals in 33 appearances across the season.
17 Goals in 23 Appearances
Aguero's exploits when he made the team were still very strong, however. Despite only making 23 appearances across the league campaign, he found the net 17 times. These goals were invaluable to City's tense title challenge, with his ability to bounce straight back and continue firing inbetween injuries proving to be the vital cog in keeping pace with Liverpool's deadly frontline.
For Aguero, that was two titles within three years.
- Goals by Aguero: 26 (Led the league)
Whilst it might have been a disappointing title defence again from the sky blues, the 2014/15 season was a defining year from a personal point of view for Sergio Aguero. 32 goals in 42 games remains the most productive return the Argentine has ever produced in his career, with a whopping 26 of those coming in the Premier League.
If there was one man coming into the 2014/15 season determined to keep the title in Manchester, it was Sergio Aguero. Throughout the year, he showed the league exactly what they had been missing out on during his time on the sidelines over the previous year. Two hat tricks against QPR and Tottenham remains one of the few instances of a striker firing three in a game multiple times across a season, with Aguero netting more two-goal braces across the season than he had ever managed before.
Aguero Is on a Roll
The 14/15 season would see the emergence of Harry Kane at Tottenham, one of Aguero's strongest and most fierce rivals for the Premier League golden boot going forward. However, this was Aguero's time to shine, and he was on too much of a roll to be stopped.
Sergio Aguero has proven that he is not a player who is reliant on the players around him performing well to succeed. Title defences aside, there was a point in the season where it didn't even look certain that Manchester City were going to be able to finish in the top four as Manuel Pellegrini continued to falter. The Argentine continued to be the end product the team badly needed, constantly having to be called upon to bail out and outscore an increasingly leaky defence behind him.
- Goals by Aguero: 24
- Top Scorer: Harry Kane with 25 (Tottenham)
In what would prove to be one of the most exciting and unpredictable seasons in Premier League history, Sergio Aguero was once again on hand to show off his world class credentials.
In what was, once again, proving to be an aged and increasingly inconsistent Manchester City side, Sergio Aguero actually saw his numbers by games go up. Once again, Aguero notched up two separate hat tricks across the season: one against Chelsea at the once-mighty Stamford Bridge, and the other coming against Newcastle in October. The Newcastle game was perhaps Aguero's greatest ever in a City shirt; a comeback 6-1 win, Aguero became only the fifth player to score five goals in a game, netting them all in a staggering 23 minutes.
Aguero finished one goal behind Harry Kane at Tottenham, who was displaying his brilliance alongside a whole crop of better players at the time. Kane's strong finishing and presence in the air made him a frightening opponent to come up against, and he was still at the start of what promised to be a legendary career at White Hart Lane.
Aguero Is the Main Factor in City's Respectable Finish
Whilst Kane and Leicester-title champion Jamie Vardy won all the plaudits over the season, Sergio Aguero was still the most clinical player in the league. Once again, he was dragging a poor City side to the brink of a respectable finish. Thanks again to his vital goals, City won the League Cup, got to the Champions League semi-finals and just about scraped over cross town rivals Manchester United to 4th place.
- Goals by Aguero: 20
- Top Scorer: Harry Kane with 30 (Tottenham)
The start of the Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, the 2016/17 season was, arguably, the most challenging time Sergio Aguero has endured during his time in England. To everyone's surprise, it appeared as though Guardiola wasn't all that convinced by the Argentine's style and potentially wasn't a fit for the system he was trying to implement.
Over his managerial career, Guardiola has famously preferred a 'false 9' up front for his sides. The young, nimble Brazilian Gabriel Jesus was actually preferred to Aguero for a time across the season, with speculation about the Argentine's future increasingly being talked about.
However an athlete's true professionalism is only ever shown during the trying times, and Aguero's undeniable class shone through once again. Working on his game as best as he could to try and fight for his place off the pitch, Aguero's professionalism soon won him his place back in the side.
From that moment, Aguero has rarely been away from the starting eleven for City and he has won all the plaudits possible from the likes of Guardiola. It takes someone special to change the mind of a genius like Pep, which only adds to Aguero's impressive collection of achievements.
- Goals by Aguero: 21
- Top Scorer: Mo Salah with 32 (Liverpool)
Kicking off the start of a Premier League record-breaking year with City's first goal of the season at Brighton, the 2017/18 season would yet again see Sergio Aguero net over twenty goals for the Citizens.
2017/18 saw one of the most impressive achievements Aguero's entire career; netting a hattrick against Watford, Newcastle and Leicester City, it was the first time the Argentine had ever bagged three hattricks across a single season. His hattrick against Newcastle also coincided with his 350th goal across his career.
Aguero's form across the season was as consistently brilliant as ever, but it was nowhere near the unearthly achievements by Mohammed Salah at the time. The Egyptian netted over 40 goals across the season, with 32 of them coming in the league alone. It was a truly special return and deserves some serious recognition.
City would become the first side to ever reach 100 points in a Premier League campaign, with Aguero claiming his third Premier League title at the end of the season.
- Goals by Aguero: 21
- Top Scorer: Tie between Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Sadio Mane (Liverpool) and Mo Salah (Liverpool) with 22
In what was the most tense, competitive and high quality title race the Premier League had ever seen, Sergio Aguero would once again show off how invaluable he is to Manchester City.
In an unbelievable feat, Aguero would replicate the achievement he gained the previous year by once more netting three separate hattricks across the season, these three coming against Huddersfield, Arsenal and Chelsea.
In such a tight, nail-biting season such as this however, it was the odd goal here and there that made Aguero such a valuable asset to the side. The ability to grind out wins at the likes of Burnley and Bournemouth proved to be the vital turning points for City in their title defence, and Aguero was critical in these games time and time again.
Missing out on the golden boot by a single goal seems harsh on a player who was impeccably good throughout the season. He was rarely talked about in the same bracket as the likes of Aubameyang, Salah and Mane, and that is genuinely unfair on the talent and contributions Aguero was showing throughout the whole campaign.
To put it simply: title winners need heroes to step up when no one else can. For City, they had Aguero to do that, and that is a huge reason why they won the league.
Total Manchester City Goals: 231
One of the Greatest
Sergio Aguero is one of the best players I have ever seen in my life, and easily one of the best players to have ever played in the Premier League. He should easily be put in the same bracket as the likes of Shearer, Henry and Rooney in terms of his contributions and goalscoring exploits.
The fact that he is so rarely considered for the PFA Player and Team of the Year is genuinely baffling to me. For nearly a decade, the Argentine has been Manchester City's most consistent star, netting over 200 hundred goals in just over 300 appearances for the Citizens.
There's absolutely no reason why Aguero cannot have a few more years at the top of his game before the end of his career; he keeps his body in excellent shape, has a undeniable level of consistency and obviously a winning mentality that fits beautifully with the mindset of someone like Guardiola.
With the twilight of his career always looming however, now is the time where we all need to begin truly appreciating and applauding the talent the English game is fortunate to see with Sergio Aguero.