13th July 2021

184 Goals

This season, the Premier League bid farewell to one of the greatest to ever play in the league, an Argentinian striker whose prolific record saw him claim several league records as well as propel Manchester City to superclub status. Since the news broke that Agüero would be leaving Manchester, much of the media attention has been on one particular goal he scored back in 2012. A goal that made Martin Tyler say “AgüerooOoOo!”. A goal that snatched the title at the very last moment from local rivals Manchester United. A goal that started an era of dominance for Manchester City in the Premier League. That goal is undoubtedly Agüero’s career defining moment; however, we mustn’t forget that he scored another 183 goals during his time in the Premier League. In honour of Agüero’s impact, I want to offer an appraisal of his entire goalscoring record. As Pep Guardiola himself once said “Agüero’s numbers speak for themselves”.

When were they scored?

Let’s start with an overview of Sergio’s entire goalscoring career. Agüero’s career began at Independiente in Argentina, before a move to Atlético saw him form a strike partnership first with Fernando Torres and later with Diego Forlán. His performances for Atlético earned him the prestigious Golden Boy award and a move to a newly rich Manchester City. He did alright at City...

You might notice his dip in goalscoring when he joined Atlético as he adjusted to the major European leagues. It’s also clear that Agüero really hit the ground running as soon as he arrived in England, and that he has only just tailed off. He scored over 20 Premier League goals for 5 seasons in a row. Although he won the Golden Boot in 2014/15, he was arguably at his most deadly in 2017/18 with a great goals per game ratio.

How were they scored?

We can see Agüero’s distinct preference for his right foot. At 5ft 8, it’s quite impressive that 10% of his goals, including his very last, came from headers. I’m not quite sure what’s meant by other. It could be his torso, or maybe an arm.

His record against other elite Premier League clubs is impressive. Fans will remember the time he went on a mad one in February 2019, scoring hat tricks against both Chelsea and Arsenal. Interestingly, the only club Agüero played in the Premier League but failed to score against is Bolton Wanderers. Perhaps this will offer a little consolation to fans of the now struggling side.

Amongst the Premier League greats

The below chart looks at Premier League players with over 150 league goals. There are two things to notice. One, these players are true icons of the modern game. Two, even compared to these giants, Agüero’s goals to game ratio stands out. Agüero’s 0.67 goals per game is beaten only by Kane and Henry, both averaging 0.68.

Sergio's contribution to City

No question about it, City would not be the superpower they are today without Agüero. His moment of brilliance against QPR gifted City their first title, whilst a decade of consistency earned City 4 more. Let’s take a closer look at his goalscoring in the context of City’s overall goal scoring output.

After Pep Guardiola took charge, Agüero’s contribution as a share of City’s goal output has waned somewhat. As a proponent of total football, Pep’s use of false nines and system of unlocking opponents with intricate passing plays lends itself to shared responsibility for goalscoring. Nonetheless, Agüero continued to contribute as one of the most valuable pieces of Guardiola’s system. In the Premier League, Agüero had the highest number of goals and assists per 90 in 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2018/19, and 2019/20.

Is there more to come?

For me, the moment that summed up Agüero happened recently. By all measures, Agüero has had a tough season, struggling against injury, he’s barely appeared for City. He wanted a new contract, and the powers that be at City said no. On the day of City’s final game of the season he was one goal off equaling the competition record for the most goals scored for one club. He wasn’t in the starting line up. He came on at the 63rd minute. He scored twice, thus breaking the record and showing for one final time what he can do.

The Premier League’s highest scoring non-English player. The most goals for one club. The most Premier League hat tricks. The only player to have won all 5 of Manchester City’s Premier League titles. He was a record signing for Manchester City at the time at £35 million, but that fee now seems like a bargain. What he has given Manchester City is priceless.

It’s a lot to be proud of, but I think he’s probably already focused on a new challenge at Barcelona. Owing to his time at Atlético, Agüero has already tallied 74 La Liga goals. If he can get to 100, he will join an elite group of players to score over 100 goals in 2 different leagues. Ibrahimovic has done it, so have Cavani, Higuain, and Andre-Pierre Gignac. Ronaldo hasn’t. Suarez hasn’t.

Agüero is 26 goals away. If he played every game, he would need a goal every 0.68 games to do it in 1 season, or 0.34 goals a game to do it in 2. Considering his injury problems, the 26 goals might be hard to come by, but I’m sure he’ll give it his best shot.

I swear we’ll never see anyone like him again. Gracias Sergio!


BBC Sport: Sergio Agüero: Manchester City striker is a 'legend' - Pep Guardiola

Transfermarkt: Agüero

Sportbible: The Four Players Who Have Scored Over 100 Goals In Two Different Leagues In The 21st Century

FC Barcelona: Sergio ‘Kun’ Agüero and his goalscoring records

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