Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick against Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon, making him the all-time top-scoring foreign player in the Premier League. Above Arsenal legend Thierry Henry. The Argentine’s hat-trick took his tally to 177 goals in 255 Premier League games whilst his Manchester City tally sits at 249. Just staggering for a player who doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.
In the nine seasons Aguero has spent at the Etihad Stadium, he has never won FWA football of the year or PFA player of the year awards whilst he’s only been included in team of the season on two occasions. Perhaps now that he’s the highest scoring foreigner in the Premier League, he’ll get more recognition for the world class player that he is.
“He (Aguero) is a legend and the legend rose tonight,” said Guardiola post-match. “I think that Henry is one of the most incredible players I have seen in this league and I think that he will be proud that Sergio is the guy that broke his record. He was a legend and with Sergio it’s the same.
“Congratulations, and we will be congratulating him in the locker room. To score this amount of goals as a foreign player and this amount of hat-tricks means you have done, for many years, a lot of good things.”
As well as exceeding Thierry Henry – of whom only Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney and Andy Cole are ahead of him in the all-time Premier League list, Aguero also exceeds Alan Shearer’s hat-trick record, netting his 12th in the top flight.
“I’m so happy for the record,” said the Argentine. “But I thank my teammates because they helped me this year, I’m so happy. I want to keep scoring more goals, but it all depends on my teammates. If they pass to me, then it’s fine. It’s too far to Shearer (all-time record) but I will try.”
Even though at this stage of the season, it appears Liverpool are too far ahead of their closest challengers for Manchester City to catch the league leaders. Even so, it was a relentless performance as Pep Guardiola’s City put six past Aston Villa.
Riyad Mahrez assisted Aguero’s third goal of the afternoon, praising his teammate post-match: “The statistic speaks for itself. He’s a legend for this club, for the Premier League.
“He’s showed it and he’s showing it every week, week in and week out. We’re very happy to have him in the team. He has a lot of quality but, to be honest, he doesn’t need a lot of chances to score. This shows how good a striker he is.”
As Paul Wilson of the Irish Times wrote in 2018, ‘Sergio Aguero’s brilliance has been taken for granted’. And it’s hard to disagree. The 31-year-old has shown time again that he’s got an eye for goal, his 249 Manchester City goals cementing him as a legend. It’s easy to overlook the work that the Argentina international also does off the ball. A hard-worker with a bullish fighting attitude, likely down to his South American upbringing, Aguero will press and run at the right moments until it’s physically no longer possible.
The future of Aguero also remains uncertain with your usual newspaper talk suggesting he’ll be leaving the club in the summer but to be honest, it’s difficult to imagine Aguero playing for another team. Whilst the sharpshooter will be key as City go in search for the silverware that’s missing from their trophy cabinet, the Champions League.
And one player that will certainly be able to help if their search for the European Cup is Kevin de Bruyne. After injury woes at the beginning of the season, the Belgium is finding his feet once again. In all competitions, De Bruyne has assisted 15 goals this season – five more than any other player.
If Guardiola’s coaching staff can keep the current squad fit and the returnees out of harm’s way, Manchester City can make a strong push for the Champions League but first, they must get by Real Madrid, a team that Aguero has yet to register a win against in all competitions (14 games, 5 draws, 9 defeats) for Manchester City and Atletico Madrid combined. But one thing is for certain, Aguero must be recognised as one of the greatest strikers in not only the past decade, but if football history.
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