Sergio Aguero confirmed his status as the greatest goal scorer the Premier League has seen since Alan Shearer when reaching 100 goals for Manchester City in a rate bettered by only the former England captain, ironically enough at Shearer’s former St James’ Park home.
Aguero’s century – the landmark goal itself being clearly offside – has delivered two Premier League titles in his five years at the Etihad Stadium, one more than Shearer won with Southampton, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United, and at 27, it’s reasonable to assume there’s more to come. Pep Guardiola will replace Manuel Pellegrini in the summer, and Aguero will surely form the centre point of the new coach’s attack.
Guardiola will find a lot to like in Aguero. He’s got almost as much ingenuity as compatriot Lionel Messi, but with an even more potent goal scorer’s edge. Messi might have more goals than Aguero but he isn’t the same penalty box predator. Much of his good work is done outside the 18-yard-zone, and he appears to get as much if not more satisfaction from an assist. Aguero is a poacher.
Any system Guardiola employs in Manchester will have to be designed to get the best from Aguero, and his burgeoning relationship with Kevin de Bruyne is encouraging in that regard. Quite how the pair line up, never mind the other eight outfield players, is nigh on impossible to predict, even considering Guardiola’s past preferences. He’s an innovator, and it could be time for something entirely different.
Guardiola’s arrival may also be what keeps Aguero at City. The 2013-14 title success feels a long time ago now and as the continent’s big clubs shuffle their packs – Zlatan Ibrahimovic likely leaving Paris Saint-Germain, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid future in doubt and Barcelona looking for MSN alternatives – Aguero is sure to have caught the eye. A move to Ligue 1 might be a retrograde step at this point in Kun’s career, Los Blancos would be complicated by his Atletico Madrid past, and Aguero may not be keen to compete with Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, but logic isn’t always what dictates such transfers.
So Aguero looks sure to stay with City a while yet, and it’s intriguing to consider how he might dovetail with Guardiola – and whoever arrives with the Catalan. Aguero and Pep should find common ground and with it more trophies, and more goals. Aguero’s first 100 came in 174 games – how long until his second?