Sergio Aguero has been one of the most intriguing cases of brilliance in the modern footballing world that managed to create a legacy despite his never-ending struggle with injuries and fitness.
In his 10th season with Manchester City now, Sergio Aguero has not only managed to hit double figures every season but has also managed to etch his name in the Premier League history books, slotting himself in at 4th on the all-time goalscorers list, with 180 goals to his name.
Yet to get off the mark this season, though, with just 2 Premier League appearances so far, Aguero might be at the twilight of his Premier League journey. Manchester City have started to look for long-term replacements, with Gabriel Jesus proving to be a player with a different skill set and one who is unable to match the productivity that the Argentine has been able to produce on the pitch.
Let us take a look at all possible outcomes and semantics surrounding Aguero’s future.
The Manchester City dependency
Pep Guardiola has been quick to lament on the importance of being able to manage Sergio Aguero’s fitness levels after the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham. Aguero was an unused substitute, recovering from a hamstring problem. The Argentine is 32-year-old and has always had his fair share of trouble with fitness.
Pep Guardiola on Sergio Aguero: “I’m not going to say we don’t need Sergio, we need him. But Sergio is 32 and was five months injured with a difficult and dangerous injury. He came back, he played 50 minutes and 55 and got injured again…”
— Man City Xtra (@City_Xtra) November 22, 2020
However, for all the stars they have on offer, Manchester City have an over-reliance on Kun Aguero. The Citizens were even able to survive long periods without Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling in recent times. But, they are yet to find a consistent winning formula without Aguero.
Gabriel Jesus hasn’t been consistent enough and Guardiola has been strengthening other areas. It is rightly so that, as per reports, Guardiola advised Manchester City to pursue Harry Kane during negotiations about his contract renewal. City need a natural finisher and for all his ability, Jesus isn’t one; at least not yet.
The over-dependence on Aguero must start to wane; for Guardiola cannot simply afford to start the 32-year-old every game. There is also the case of his contract expiring in the summer of 2021, which makes this season an opportune one to eliminate this dependency.
We have seen what over-dependence on a player or manager does at clubs like Barcelona, Manchester United and Arsenal. Manchester City would not want to fall in the same trap and hence, would ideally see Aguero leave within the coming transfer window(s).
The Barcelona temptation
For all his exploits in Europe, it is criminal for a player of Sergio Aguero’s pedigree to have not won the elusive Champions League. Aguero has conquered England indomitably. However, the 32-year-old’s career deserves a Champions League medal.
Manchester City have tried hard under Pep Guardiola but seem unable to cross the hurdles. A move to Barcelona though, could present him with a last chance to complete his European dream. Not to mention, being able to pair him up with Lionel Messi will also have its own advantages.
❗Aguero would be willing to play at Barcelona next season, alongside his friend Lionel Messi. [el chiringuito] pic.twitter.com/Ucf578uBgF
— FC Barcelona Fans Nation (@fcbfn10) November 17, 2020
Barcelona have floundered in their search for a Luis Suarez replacement. However, till they find the right one, Sergio Aguero can be the anointed knight. The 32-year-old has natural chemistry with Lionel Messi, owing to their national team exploits and also has an impeccable record in front of goal, something Barcelona can use during their ‘rebuild’ under Ronald Koeman.
Barcelona can get a proven goalscorer for free in the summer, once Aguero’s Manchester City contract runs out. Aguero, on the other hand, can have his one final hurrah and perhaps, also win the La Liga title, something he failed to do while at Atletico Madrid.
The Independiente Choice
Sergio Aguero, like many of his international counterparts that have built a successful career in club football in Europe, has never shied away from publicly admitting to his dream of returning to his homeland to finish his career. For Lionel Messi, it is Newell’s Old Boys; for Sergio Aguero, it is Independiente.
The 32-year-old played just one full season for his boyhood club during his teenage years, recording 18 goals in 36 appearances before moving to Atletico Madrid. The Rojo [Independiente] is always his priority, he said to Sky Sports over a year ago. And through the years before, his wish has never changed.
Although, it would be nice to get his hands on a Champions League or a La Liga title before returning to Independiente, his fitness also has to be taken into account if he wants the Barcelona transfer.
“We are keeping the number 10 for him.”
Sergio Aguero has a shirt waiting for him at Independiente, says coach Lucas Pusineri 👀 pic.twitter.com/XkpE3S516G
— Goal (@goal) April 14, 2020
La Liga is every bit as taxing to a player’s body as Premier League and the rigours of it will affect him differently than they did while he was in his 20s. The ideal choice for Aguero would be to see the Manchester City contract run down till 2021 summer and return to where it all began. After all, he is yet to win a trophy with Indenpendiente as well.
What to make of it? – The Perspective Perception
For Manchester City, offloading or releasing Sergio Aguero might not be important. But, reducing the dependency is something Guardiola would want to do. And, if all else fails this season, letting the 32-year-old go might be in their best interests.
As far as Barcelona are concerned, Sergio Aguero would be a brilliant cost-effective addition. However, Barcelona are halfway there to being a nursing home, with all the injuries and adding Aguero would be like welcoming a new potential patient. It is yet to be gauged whether Ronald Koeman would like to go for a stopgap option upfront or spend the resources on building long-term.
Sergio Aguero needs to assess his own body and determine which would be the best move. Ideally, by the looks of it, Barcelona could be too much pressure at this point of his career and a return to Argentina might be the best option.