Sergio Agüero’s Legacy at Manchester City

Agüero has truly made an important impact on Manchester City’s rise to the top, enjoying an illustrious career.

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Even the most passive soccer fans have almost certainly heard of Manchester City, an English club that’s been on the rise in the 21st century. The Abu Dhabi United Group purchased the club as part of a rebuilding project in 2008 and aided City by funding for player transfers and budgets. Eventually, City became part of the City Football Group, a holding company that manages soccer clubs. One legend for the club, 32-year-old striker Sergio Agüero, joined City during their takeover transition. Since joining in 2011, Agüero has helped City win 13 trophies, including four Premier League titles. With the new generation of City players, Agüero is departing Manchester City after 10 successful seasons in the Premier League. But there’s no denying that Agüero has truly made an important impact on Manchester City’s rise to the top.

Agüero joined Manchester City in July 2011 from Spanish giants Atlético Madrid. Under manager Roberto Mancini, the Argentinian was favored to play as a second striker, behind center-forward Edin Džeko. Agüero marked his debut with two goals and an assist off the bench against Swansea FC. He continued this good run of form in the league, quickly becoming a pivotal player for City. On the final day of the season, Manchester City and rivals Manchester United were tied on points in the Premier League, with City leading on goal difference (giving them the tiebreaker over the Red Devils). Manchester United won against Fulham 1-0, meaning City had to win their match against Queens Park Rangers to win the Premier League. Though the team found themselves 2-1 down, Džeko and Agüero scored in injury time to win the game and Manchester City’s first Premier League title. Agüero’s last minute goal is seen as an iconic moment in soccer history, with the Argentinian taking off his shirt and celebrating with his teammates in front of the stadium.

City’s first Premier League trophy gave the club momentum moving forward, with Agüero winning Manchester City Player of the Year in his first season. Though the striker began to suffer from frequent knee and calf injuries, he has been deadly in front of goal when healthy. His impressive performances in the league linked him with clubs such as Real Madrid FC, but Agüero explained how he was content in Manchester. “I'm very happy at City, and I feel appreciated and loved here, which means a lot to me,” he said in an interview. “It's been barely more than a year and a half since I’ve arrived, and sometimes I feel like I’ve been here for all my life.” City retained their position in the top four, and with new manager Manuel Pellegrini in charge, the club won the PL again in the 2013-2014 season. Agüero eventually switched to a center-forward position, which suited the Argentinian’s lethal finishing ability. In the 2014-2015 season, Agüero racked up 26 goals and eight assists in the league, which won him the Premier League Golden Boot, the award given to the player with the most goals at the end of the season.

In 2016, Pellegrini left City at the expiration of his contract, and renowned former FC Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola took charge. Premier League fans knew that Agüero was the team’s talisman, and a world-class manager like Guardiola would respark the former’s goal scoring. Although City did not achieve much in terms of trophies in the 2016-2017 season, Agüero remained their top scorer in all competitions for three consecutive seasons. In the next season, Manchester City won the Premier League for their third time in the decade, with Agüero their top scorer yet again, scoring 33 goals in all competitions. The Cityzens were dubbed “The Centurions” by setting an English top flight record for most points in a season. The following season, City won four domestic trophies including the Premier League, with Agüero playing a huge part. It was around this time that many were starting to recognize the Argentinian as one of the greatest players of the modern Premier League era.

Unfortunately, the last two years have seen Agüero in and out of the squad, with the striker dealing with consistent injuries. With the rest of the club’s attackers in their primes, Agüero has struggled to break into the first team squad. Thus, the Argentinian and the club have agreed that it is for the best that he finds a new club for the upcoming season. However, Guardiola still commends Agüero’s service to the club, explaining, “So it's the legend, the best striker this club has ever had for this century through the years, but is irreplaceable in the souls, in the hearts, in the minds of our fans, of our people, of the players [who] played alongside him and all the managers who worked with him.” It’s no secret that Agüero has been instrumental in the rise of Manchester City, playing his part in the goals and establishing himself in England with consistent performances. With many clubs, including FC Barcelona, looking to sign him, fans around the world hope Agüero can rechannel his past form and display the skill and expertise he once did in the Premier League.