Football is a fast-paced game and when a player falls behind because of injury or other reason, most clubs quickly move on.
It’s hard to argue the influence Sergio Aguero has had on Manchester City’s fortunes since joining the club in July 2011. For Pep Guardiola’s side that is on a 21 game winning run, it seems Aguero’s once revered status in the team continues to wane.
The situation at Manchester City is interesting to watch as it is with the other top teams fighting for the top four. For football betting enthusiasts enjoying the exciting contest, it’s now even easier to place a bet on the football by betting with PayPal instead of normal payment methods.
So what went wrong for Aguero? Does Guardiola really need the striker as he says? Or is it time for Aguero to move on?
Contract winding down
The Argentina international’s contract at Manchester City ends on June 30, but there’s little progress over a new deal. Aguero has been such an influential figure that his return to the City’s line-up created a buzz in the team and fans.
However, he didn’t make a mark as the team fought hard for a victory against a stubborn West Ham. This was Manchester City’s 39th game of the season, but for the all-time leading goal scorer, it was only the fourth game and one to forget.
Horrible year on the sidelines
For the Argentine, it’s over a year since he played 90 minutes in a City’s shirt and what a horrible year that has been. It all started in 2020 during the team’s second game of the project restart. During City’s 5-0 win over Burnley, Sergio Aguero picked up a knee injury which sidelined him for the remainder of the shortened season. The injury also delayed his return for the new season.
But the striker wasn’t lucky on his return to the line-up with a hamstring problem once again sidelining him. With that over, there was the self-isolation after exposure before the Argentine tested positive for Covid-19.
As the Argentine troubles continued, Pep Guardiola conjured a revival around players such as John Stones, Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, and Ruben Dias. Where Aguero had seemed indispensable, it now seems he has to fight very hard to regain his place.
Can an impressive past record save Aguero?
There’s no denying Sergio Aguero is one of Manchester City’s greatest players. In his first year at Etihad Stadium, Aguero was influential in winning City its first league title in 44 years.
He is Manchester City’s all-time highest goal-scorer, has been named to the PFA Team of the Year twice, won the Golden Boot in the 2014–15 season, and is currently 4th highest goal scorer in EPL history.
But does this matter to the ever ambitious Guardiola who demands the best from his players all the time? That there’s no word from Manchester City about the Argentine’s contract, which ends on June 30 highlights how much things have changed.
Already City’s manager has pointed out that Aguero has to fight for his place, and there’s little time left to prove himself. City is galloping towards the EPL title and it’s unlikely that the Spanish manager will take risks to ruin the flow.
Is time up for Aguero?
While City’s manager sounds sympathetic when reviewing Aguero’s situation, most analysts say only a new contract should comfort the Argentine about his stay. The games are getting tougher and while Guardiola needs Aguero’s experience and goal scoring capability, he might not have the patience or time to put up with his muted performances.
The implication of Aguero’s unimpressive display in West Ham’s win was that he would need more time, which is not a resource any team has at the moment. Unlike Liverpool, which collapsed tragically when their star player suffered injury, City continues to thrive despite missing Aguero for months. This is another reason for Aguero to start looking beyond Etihad Stadium.
Many football managers out there admire Sergio Aguero, and it’s no wonder there are reports about ongoing talks with top football clubs. Top likely destinations for Aguero include Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, with reported news of talks already in place. Other top teams watching the situation include Italian giants Inter and Juventus.
While there’s still a possibility of a renewal, the current situation at Etihad might eventually force Sergio Aguero to look for other options. With only a few months before his contract ends, the striker is free to open talks with non-English clubs and even sign pre-contract agreements.
It’s unclear if the club would agree to lose a legend who has dedicated much of his prime career time to their success. The Argentine was lost for words about his next move, saying he only wants to play. For the hard-driving Guardiola, however, winning is the name of the game and Aguero might ultimately be forced to look elsewhere for playing time.