Photo Credit: Sergio Aguero Twitter
So, the day has finally arrived and I am saying this with a heavy heart that Manchester City’s prolific striker Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero will leave the club after 10 Years, making the last of Roberto Mancini’s 2012 Title winning team to leave the Etihad outfit. His exit has finally led to the end of an era for Manchester City lasting 10 straight years from 2011 onwards. The club’s fans have had plenty of practice of seeing their legends leave in recent years: it is almost as if their departing legends have got bigger and bigger — from Pablo Zabaleta to Yaya Toure to Vincent Kompany to David Silva in consecutive years. The core players to Manchester City’s 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. Kompany called time on his City career after he had played his final game for the club and Silva left without any fans in the stadium, but even those circumstances could do little to prepare anybody for Aguero’s exit.
Back in July 2011 few people realised how successful the Argentine striker was going to be. City paid only £35 million for him to bring him to Etihad stadium from Atletico Madrid and steal him under Chelsea’s nose. 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. King Kun was here to change that. In the current season, Manchester City being 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 and adds to his legacy at Manchester.
In his time at the club, Agüero has scored 257 goals and provided 73 assists in 384 appearances winning FOUR Premier League titles, FIVE League cups, an FA Cup and THREE Community Shields. 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 immortalized 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.'
Being Premier League’s all-time leading overseas goal scorer, he also has
1. Best goals to minutes ratio in Premier League history
2. Best non-penalty goals and assists per minutes in Premier League history.
3. Holds the record for the most Premier League hat-tricks with a ridiculous 12 hat-tricks.
4. Holds the joint record for the most goals scored in a single Premier League match with five against Newcastle in October of 2015.
5. Fastest to score 5 goals in a match within 23 Minutes and 54 Seconds
6. Took only 9 touches to score 5 goals which is least number of touches taken for a 5 Goal haul in Premier League
The desperation among the City fanbase to see their Argentine legend on the field and when he stepped out onto the Etihad Stadium pitch against Southampton, it was a timely reminder of just how much affection there is for Aguero around the club. News of this magnitude — which will be talked about just as much by non-City fans — will always come as a shock but it is fair to say the writing had been on the wall, certainly behind the scenes, where people close to him had been talking about his likely exit as far back as January. The club management told him that he would be much more likely to get a new contract if he was fully fit by the end of last year and, clearly, that did not happen. Major concerns about his fitness — more specifically the condition of his knee — have not been dispelled as the season has progressed and they do not believe that things will change dramatically, thus compelling the club to make this decision. He would have stayed if given the opportunity but City confirmed the news to him on Monday, with Pep Guardiola explaining the club’s decision at the training ground. Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak immediately followed up with a phone call to convey his gratitude and confirm that he will have a statue in his honour, to go alongside ones for Silva and Kompany.
While some of his team-mates had been expecting this news, many of them only knew for sure when the club released their statement. Some have argued over the past 24 hours that he should have been given an extra year come what may given all he has done for the club and the fact that he does not deserve to say his goodbyes in empty stadiums. Emotionally, they are strong cases but clearly, this has been a business decision.
At the end, I would like to say that “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. Manchester will always be your home, Sergio. Forever Blue, ‘ Cityzen King Kun’!”