As Sergio Aguero almost singlehandedly dragged Man City back from the brink of a European exit on Tuesday evening, I began to wonder: is the City frontman’s talent appreciated enough?
My suggestion is that it isn’t. Since arriving at Manchester City in 2011, the Argentine striker has scored 92 goals in 139 games; and given that the player has struggled a bit with injuries during that time, that’s a pretty fantastic return.
But it’s not just his stats that make Aguero such a wonderful – and crucial – asset for City. It’s also the fact that he scores goals when they really matter. Take his last gasp winner at the end of the 2011/2012 season that secured City’s first title since 1968. Take his superb hat-trick last night that gave City more than a fighting chance of progressing to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Now, I may be preaching to the converted, but I don’t really get the impression that Aguero is regarded as highly as he should be. The general football fan is quite rightly in awe of the talent and ability of the two premier world stars – Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – but when the third and fourth best players in the world are discussed, I rarely see Aguero’s name among them.
Take, for example, Franck Ribery’s tantrum after missing out on the Ballon D’Or at the beginning of this year. Is Ribery really a better player than Aguero? Should the Frenchman really have been in the running for the best player in the world when the Argentine wasn’t?
For many it seemed reasonable that Ribery should have been considered as a contender for the Ballon D’Or, yet there doesn’t seem to be a suggestion that Aguero is worthy of being talked about in those terms.
He is. Without a shadow of a doubt. After helping City to win the title for the second time in three years last summer, he has well and truly cemented himself as one of the best players in the world and his superb form this season has only re-confirmed that.
The question now is: can City keep hold of a player who is one of the best in the world? It is almost certain that Pellegrini’s side will fail to win the Premier League this season; and despite Aguero’s heroics, they’re still failing to convince in Europe. What happens to the world’s best players? Inevitably, they end up in Spain. Unless City sort themselves out, my money’s on Aguero returning to the continent in the next couple of years.