Sergio Aguero could leave Manchester City, but let’s hope not

Sergio Aguero could be set for a move away from Manchester City in the summer
Sergio Aguero could be set for a move away from Manchester City in the summer /

Manchester City star striker and club legend Sergio Aguero has sat out two games on the trot in favor of precocious Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus. This could lead to his exit from the club, but we should all hope it doesn’t.

I remember hearing once a, surprisingly, apt life lesson that someone reported they read scrawled on the walls of a public bathroom stall: “In all my life I have but two chief regrets – when I do good nobody remembers, when I do bad nobody forgets.” Since then, I’ve tried to pay more attention when using the facilities lest I miss more of this unearthed wisdom, but alas it’s been far less insightful so far.  Regardless, it really does ring true now with everyone and their mothers in the media going on about Sergio Aguero.

Wait, Aguero? Shouldn’t it be Gabriel Jesus? The 19-year-old Brazilian kid who marked his home debut scoring both goals for Manchester City’s triumphant 2-1 win over Swansea on Sunday? Nope, Aguero. They’re all talking about Aguero. Post-match questions to Pep Guardiola? “Is Kun leaving?” Post match review on ESPN TV? “Kun is leaving.” Perhaps it’s for the better given it’s easy to get carried away with the hype so easily generated when watching a pure talent on display in the form of Jesus.

Nonetheless, everyone wants to talk about Aguero and perhaps for good reasons. We are used to not seeing Sergio on the park, given yearly injuries and suspensions, but never sitting on the bench watching the game and certainly not for two consecutive games on the bounce. I’m not sure such an event has taken place in Aguero’s professional career, being replaced in a team’s starting XI by preference.

When asked about his situation after the game, Kun had the following to say:

"“No, no, I don’t want to leave. I have to help the team as much as I can in these three months. Afterwards we’ll see what the club wants to do with me.”"

“In these three months” but what about after that? A somewhat blunt response to a fairly routine question that he literally had no impetus to answer in such a fashion. You can see why the media might be running with it, particularly with the arrival of Jesus, even if the latter shouldn’t by any stretch of the imagination dethrone the former.

As for Aguero himself, one could argue that, while he certainly doesn’t sound happy now, he hasn’t appeared happy for a while, perhaps all season. He hasn’t been himself in terms of performances, that much is for sure. His 11 goals in 18 premier league appearances is still impressive enough, but his conversion rate stands at a mere 15%, the lowest in his career. His discipline too has taken a dive, if not the players he’s accused of fouling, getting his first ever professional red card and more yellows than the last two seasons combined already.

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Aguero’s pass accuracy and defensive contributions have all ranked at the bottom of the ladder for City outfielders. That would be fine if he was scoring, but he hasn’t been. He’s been missing sitters even, came on for 7 minutes against Swansea and missed a goal he’d have absolutely buried on his normal form. What is going on with Kun?

Truth be told, every striker goes through droughts and it’s only because we are used to how consistently ruthless and surgical Aguero has been and is that it comes as such a shock. Anyone with any footballing know-how can’t possibly believe Sergio has lost it and somehow is no longer the best striker in the league, something he’s shown every year since his arrival 6 years ago? He’s a known commodity and the fact teams like Real Madrid and PSG would jump at the chance to get him proves it.

I have no doubt the club mean it when they say they have no intention of parting ways with Aguero. Further, I have every belief that Pep will play him, starting next game against Bournemouth just wait and see, and express the desire to have him available in the future. The only question is what does Aguero himself want?

It’s all fine and good when Kelechi Iheanacho is sitting on the sidelines as your name is permanently affixed to the centre-forward slot on the starting lineup. Competition isn’t such a problem when there’s little threat of it ever catching up with you. But then Jesus arrived and something clicked. The front three of Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling are electric and have overwhelmed the opposition in every game they’ve played in a way City simply struggled to do up until then. Perhaps even more telling is that this is exactly what Pep prefers in the position, rather than a natural striker in the more traditional manner as Sergio would be.

Regardless, one has to imagine that Kun can’t be happy, his comments say as much, and that there’s a very real likelihood he could be off in the summer. Why? Because he’s Sergio Aguero, he walks into any big team and doesn’t have to sit back and suffer the indignity of having the camera pan to his face looking like a slapped bottom every time his replacement scores. He’s one of the best strikers in the world and is still only 28 years old. He doesn’t need City, City need him.

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You’d have to think he would expect commitments to being a consistent starter from Pep, like say Kevin De Bruyne is at present, and I’m not sure he’s certain to get such a promise. He hasn’t earned it through performances this season, for one reason or another, and it’s always possible Guardiola himself simply doesn’t want to mould his Manchester City around one player, even a legend like Kun.

It remains to be seen what happens, but I think we can all agree that City losing Aguero, at any price, would be bad business for the club. Here’s hoping it doesn’t end up being one of their chief regrets, as the bathroom stall lets us all know they aren’t forgotten so easily.