Sergio Aguero, the club’s record goalscorer, is “irreplaceable in the souls, hearts, and minds of our fans,” according to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Aguero is expected to leave the club at the end of the season.
The 32-year-old Aguero’s goal tally, according to Guardiola, could be exceeded one day, but what he means to the club is unrivaled.
“Sergio is irreplaceable,” said Guardiola.
“I could say in terms of numbers he can be replaceable, it’s not easy when you see more than 360 games played and more than 250 goals, the amount of titles (he has won).
“So it’s the legend, the best striker this club has ever had for this century through the years, but is irreplaceable in the souls, in the hearts, in the minds of our fans, of our people, of the players that played alongside him and all the managers who worked with him.”
When Guardiola took over as manager in 2016, he said he felt fortunate to have such rising stars as Aguero at the club.
“We were so lucky, the guys who came after him – me as a manager for example,” he said.
“We took over the club and he was one of the guys like Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, David Silva, many players helped this club make a step forward and of course he was one of them.”
Guardiola credited the Argentinian with helping City become a domestic football powerhouse after spending decades in the shadow of city rival Manchester United.
The goal scored in the final game of the 2011/12 season will remain Aguero’s most memorable moment for City fans.
Manchester United were seconds away from winning their fifth Premier League title, prolonging the misery of their English rivals, who had not won the league since 1968.
“When he came here the club was in one level, and he helped to put the club in a higher level,” Guardiola said.
“Of course the fans always will be grateful.”
Aguero has had a difficult season so far.
In the offseason, he underwent knee surgery. His comeback was hampered by a hamstring injury, and he was forced to sit out for a month due to coronavirus infection.
With City striving for an incredible quadruple trophy sweep – and Aguero looking all but certain to share a fifth league title – Guardiola believes the Argentine has plenty of time to do so.
“I think he still has interesting goals to score this season,” said Guardiola.