Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero will leave the club this summer when his contract expires, the Premier League outfit have confirmed.
The Argentina international is City’s record goal-scorer having amassed 257 goals in 384 appearances since arriving from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011 and is the highest-scoring overseas player in Premier League history.
Aguero, who turns 33 in June, is most famous for his added-time goal in the final league match of the 2011-12 season against QPR which secured the club’s first Premier League title.
“Sergio’s contribution to Manchester City over the last 10 years cannot be overstated,” said City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
“His legend will be indelibly etched into the memories of everyone who loves the club and maybe even in those who simply love football.
“This is not yet the moment for farewell words and speeches. There is still much to achieve in the remainder of the time we have with Sergio, and we look forward to his contributions to the challenges which lay ahead.
“In the meantime, it gives me great pleasure to announce that we will be commissioning an artist to create a statue of Sergio to live at the Etihad Stadium alongside the ones under construction for Vincent (Kompany) and David (Silva).
“And we look forward to the opportunity to bid Sergio a fitting farewell at the end of the season.”
City are working on plans to mark his departure on the final home game of the season against Everton and they are hopeful thousands of supporters will be permitted to attend Etihad Stadium when lockdown measures are eased further.
In addition to becoming the club’s record goal-scorer – which he achieved by overtaking Eric Brook’s 78-year record with a goal in the 4-2 win at Napoli in 2017 – he also has a Premier League high 12 hat-tricks which he achieved with a treble against Aston Villa in January 2020 to surpass Alan Shearer’s landmark.
Aguero has won four Premier League titles – with a fifth looking likely in his final season. He could also still add to his tally of one FA Cup and five League Cups before his departure.
“When a cycle comes to an end, many sensations arise,” Aguero, who has struggled with injuries and Covid-19 this season, wrote on Twitter.
“A huge sense of satisfaction and pride remains in me for having played with Manchester City for a whole 10 seasons – unusual for a professional player in this day and age.
“Ten seasons with major achievement, throughout which I was able to become the top historic goalscorer and forging an indestructible bond with all those who love this club – people who will always be in my heart.”
He added: “I was to join during the reconstruction era of 2011, and with the guidance of the owners and the contribution of many players, we earned a place among the greatest in the world.
“The task to maintain this well-deserved privileged position will remain on others.
“As for myself, I will continue to give it my utmost for the rest of the season to win more titles and bring more joy to the fans.
“Then, a new stage with new challenges will begin and I am fully ready to face them with the same passion and professionalism that I have always dedicated to continue competing at the highest level.”
v QPR, May 13, 2012
Aguero has scored a club record 257 goals for City but it is this sensational title-clinching effort nine years ago that will be remembered above all. Deep into injury time in the final game of the season, Aguero took a return pass from a prone Mario Balotelli, skipped round a defender in the area and blasted past Paddy Kenny. It saw City snatch a 3-2 win and, more dramatically, their first Premier League crown.
v Swansea, August 15, 2011
Aguero joined City for £38million from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011 and made an immediate impact with two goals on debut against the Swans. He bagged his first just eight minutes after coming off the bench on the hour and he capped a brilliant cameo, and a 4-0 win, with a thumping drive from 30 yards in the last minute.
v Manchester United, April 8, 2013
City surrendered their title to rivals United in 2013 but that did not prevent them claiming bragging rights in the derby at Old Trafford. Aguero secured a 2-1 win as he came off the bench on 71 minutes and ran through the United defence to rifle into the top corner just moments later.
v Leicester, February 10, 2018
The Argentinian almost single-handedly demolished the Foxes at the Etihad Stadium, claiming four goals in a 5-1 rout as City powered towards the title. His fourth was the most spectacular, taking a pass from Phil Foden and thumping a shot in off the underside of the bar from outside the area.
v Liverpool, February 3, 2013
Aguero showed how ruthless he could be when he punished a mistake from Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina to score from an almost impossible angle. A misunderstanding with Martin Skrtel saw Reina rush out of his goal but he was beaten to the ball by Aguero wide on the right. Aguero, outside the area and almost on the byline, still had no right to score from his position but he deftly clipped it over the Spaniard and the defender’s head.
v Newcastle, October 3, 2015
The Magpies felt the full force of Aguero’s power when he bagged a remarkable five goals against them in a 6-1 hammering. All five came in a dizzying 20-minute spell either side of half-time. Although his fourth was a fine long-range strike, his third was arguably the pick of the bunch. Slipped through by Kevin De Bruyne, Aguero delicately dinked over Tim Krul as the keeper came out to meet him at the edge of the area.
v Manchester United, September 22, 2013
Another derby stunner set City on their way to a crushing 4-1 win over their neighbours at the Etihad Stadium. This time it was a volley, and Aguero did not even need to look at the target as he instinctively twisted and thumped in an Aleksandar Kolarov cross from six yards. It was first of two on the day that condemned David Moyes to defeat in his first derby as United manager.
v Chelsea, February 10, 2019
Aguero missed a sitter early on but he more than made amends by going on to score a hat-trick as City ran out 6-0 winners over the Londoners. His first was a sensational long-range strike. He took the ball off Oleksandr Zinchenko, muscled his way past two defenders and then unleashed a screamer into the top corner from 25 yards.
v Sunderland, December 3, 2014
When Sunderland had the temerity to take the lead at the Stadium of Light, Aguero immediately set about putting things right. Within two minutes of Connor Wickham’s opener, Aguero poked the ball through the legs of Sebastian Coates and raced into the box to fire past former City keeper Costel Pantilimon. It was his first of two as City powered to a 4-1 win.
v Watford, September 16, 2017
Another hat-trick and another thrashing as Aguero starred in a 6-0 win at Vicarage Road. He rounded off his dazzling display with a superb solo effort in which he picked the ball up 30 yards from goal and slalomed through the area, beating three defenders before squeezing the ball past keeper Heurelho Gomes from a tight angle.