THE BLOG

Sergio Aguero Has the Brilliance to Become an All-Time Premier League Great

13/05/2015 17:10 BST | Updated 13/05/2016 10:59 BST

​It may not have been his greatest goal, or his most important, but Sergio Aguero's thunderbolt against Sunderland in December during Manchester City's 4-1 thrashing pretty much summed the player up.

Already terrorising the hapless Black Cats defence, Aguero unleashed an unstoppable drive that blistered past Costel Pantilimon, nearly obliterating the net in the process.

Receiving the ball some 30 yards from the Sunderland goal, the Argentine sucked in Sebastian Coates, leaving him red-faced with a nutmeg before launching a missile from his right boot. Skill, confidence, devastatingly clinical finishing; it was Aguero in a nutshell.

Aguero, to put it frankly, has been remarkable ever since he signed for Manchester City from Atletico Madrid for £38million in 2011. From his debut, where he scored twice, stealing the show in a 4-0 hammering of Newcastle, 'Kun' has been chief supplier of goals at the Etihad Stadium.

Statistically, Aguero is the most efficient striker in the Premier League, with a 0.51 goals per game ratio. Furthermore, the dynamo raced clear in the race for the Golden Boot following another goal-laden performance that doomed QPR to relegation, bagging a hat-trick to take him to 25 goals for the current campaign. That is five more than Tottenham's Harry Kane and six more than Chelsea's Diego Costa, both of whom pipped him to a place in the PFA Team of the Year.

Aguero's injury troubles notwithstanding, it was a glaring omission. While it is it true that Costa has suffered his own injury woes that will ultimately cost him a Golden Boot in his first season, Aguero is a player every manager would love to have at their disposal. His aggression, tenacity, balance and predatory instincts make him a nightmare to mark or defend against.

In the game with QPR, the Argentine had the vastly experienced Richard Dunne looking hopelessly inept in the wake of his brilliance. It was almost cruel.

Aguero at his best is unplayable and QPR's hideously misshapen defensive line were lucky to only ship six in the end. Following the game, Manuel Pellegrini warned defences around the country that even better was to come from Aguero. You could almost feel a synchronised tremble from centre-halves as the words were uttered.

What is key to Aguero's enduring brilliance is his consistency. In football, strikers are a sensitive bunch; prone to inexplicable slumps in form, looking helplessly forlorn as the goals dry up. Goals are the line of oxygen every striker needs to survive and Aguero's supply is in no shortage.

Aguero has attributed his surge to the Golden Boot to a healthier diet, stripped of meat, sugar and pasta. His focus on fitness has transformed a quality player into a pint-sized behemoth of a goalscorer. Aguero has always been blessed with terrific balance and powerful legs and defenders have struggled to find a formula effective enough to knock him off the ball. The way in which Aguero rips through challenges while barely stuttering is remarkable, showcasing a perfection of technique rarely found in players, even at this level.

Of course, strikers for top clubs are majorly assessed on their ability to perform in the big games and it is a test many fine players have failed. Even the great Cristiano Ronaldo was accused of going missing in the biggest games. No such criticism can be leveled at Aguero though. He is City's leading Premier League goalscorer in their biggest game of all; the derby with United, while he scored City's most famous and important goal of all time - the last-gasp winner against QPR in 2012 that delivered a first title to the Blue half of Manchester in 44 years.

More recently, Aguero has been the shining beacon in a season that has grown progressively darker for City. His breathtaking treble against Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich was yet another snapshot of Aguero's precocious talents.

The forward refused to give up on a game that was flirting dangerously with being another European disaster for City. 2-1 down to Bayern, the City fans continued to bellow "we'll fight to the end."

Their voices did not go unheard. In a wild, breathless finale to the game, Aguero provided a climax of unbridled hysteria and ecstasy, when he single-handedly dismantled the Bayern defence to win the game 3-2, using his stocky, muscular frame to break clear for both goals and transform the evening into a treasured Champions League memory for City.

Most importantly, he responded to despairing calls from the fans. He gives them moments of excitement, gets them off their seats in a roar of approval time after time. That is why he is one of their favourites, and that is why he is on his way to become one of the all-time Premier League greats.

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