For many South American footballers, the Premier League proves somewhat of a stumbling block, with the physicality and pace of English football more often than not, only half of the battle, as players struggle to adapt to English life and culture. But for every Claudio Pizarro and Diego Forlán, there’s a Sergio Agüero. Last weekend, Manchester City’s star man made history, as his solitary goal in their 8-0 annihilation of bottom club, Watford, triggered three incredible landmarks.
Is the Argentine City’s greatest striker of all-time? In a word, yes. Since arriving to the Premier League ahead of the 2011-12 season, Agüero has set the division alight, has been instrumental to the club’s success which includes four Premier League titles and has broken record after record. Understandably, in Premiership odds, you’ll find the striker the outright favourite to win the Golden Boot at the end of the season and he’s currently leading the way with eight goals. It’s an accolade he has failed to defend, or retain since winning the award in 2014-15, but in spite of this – as Agüero reaches his ninth season of English football – he’s been nothing short of exceptional. Legend is a word that gets bandied about in the sport, but there’s little doubt that the Argentine has legendary status, not just among those supporting the blue side of Manchester.
Here, we take a look back at some of Agüero’s landmarks and records.
2011-12: that goal “Agüerooooooooo”
In his debut season in the Premier League, Agüero netted 23 league goals, notching 30 in all competitions – but none came more important than his goal against QPR in the final game of the season. The race for the title came down to both Manchester clubs, with the Red side of the city in the ascendancy as United were beating Sunderland 1-0 after 20 minutes. City had to come from behind twice against a QPR side that had 10 men for the final half an hour. When Edin Dzeko scored in the second minute of stoppage time, hearts were in mouths, before Agüero managed the unthinkable. As the Argentine wheeled away in celebration with his shirt above his head, news quickly filtered to the Stadium of Light – City had done it. Winning the league on goal difference after 44 years of frustration, against your most bitter rivals – it doesn’t get much better than that!
2017-18: City’s all-time highest goal-scorer
In November 2017, after scoring against Napoli in the Champions League group stage, Agüero became City’s all-time highest goal-scorer. Scoring his 178th goal in all competitions, he over took Eric Brook who was the previous holder. Since then, Agüero has made it 172 league goals and 239 in all competitions – a number that will unsurprisingly continue to rise.
Looking specifically at the Premier League, the Argentine is sixth in the all-time rankings, just three goals shy of Thierry Henry’s tally of 175, so it won’t be too long before he breaks in the top five. Will he be able to exceed 200 goals, or even Alan Shearer’s record of 260? He is the highest-placed non-European in the list.
2018-19: Prolific Agüero
In Saturday’s stunning victory at the Etihad, Agüero achieved three landmarks. He became the first player ever to score in each of the six opening Premier League games of the season. The record was previously held by Arsenal’s José Antonio Reyes (2004-05) and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney (2011-12) who both held the record for the first five games. In addition to his goal against Watford, Agüero had previously scored against West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City, as well as netting braces against Bournemouth and Brighton & Hove Albion.
The goal also marked seven Premier League games in a row that the Argentine had scored, with the six thus far this season being added to his goal against Brighton at the end of last season, which saw City retain the title. He currently shares the record with Romelu Lukaku who managed the feat in 2015 for Everton and ironically, will break the tally with success against the Toffees this weekend.
Finally, by scoring his 100th league goal at the Etihad on Saturday, Agüero became the third player to join an elite club of those who managed to net a century at their home ground. There’s no doubt that he will surpass the feats of the other two strikers too – Wayne Rooney bagged 101 goals at Old Trafford, while Henry scored 114 times at Highbury. You would think by the end of the season, Agüero will score enough to take the record.
100 – Sergio Aguero has scored his 100th Premier League goal at the Etihad – he is one of just three players in the competition’s history to net 100+ goals at a single venue, alongside Thierry Henry at Highbury (114) and Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford (101). Milestone. pic.twitter.com/1CaVQqMNzd
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) 21 September 2019
At 31-years-old, there’s life in the Argentine striker‘s legs yet and surely more records to break, but for Agüero there’s one competition that’s eluded him throughout his career to date and that’s the Champions League. Will he and City finally be able to break their curse and taste success in Europe’s premier competition this season? Only time will tell.