Sergio Aguero, Manchester City’s record scorer, will leave the English club after 10 years when his contract expires at the end of the season.
The 32-year-old Argentina striker has 257 goals for City, the most famous being his stoppage-time winner against Queens Parks Rangers on the final day of the 2011-12 season that clinched the team its first league title in 44 years.
A key player in the growth of the Abu Dhabi-owned club as a major force in England and Europe, Aguero has struggled with injuries over the past year and been restricted to just 14 appearances in all competitions this season. The penalty he converted against Fulham on March 13 was his 181st goal in the Premier League but his first in the division since January 2020.
In a Twitter post on Monday to his 14 million followers, Aguero said he had a “huge sense of satisfaction and pride” about playing for City for a decade and is ready to “continue competing at the highest level.”
“Sergio’s contribution to Manchester City over the last 10 years cannot be overstated,” club chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said. “His legend will be indelibly etched into the memories of everyone who loves the club and maybe even in those who simply love football.”
Al Mubarak said a statue of Aguero has been commissioned to stand alongside those currently being made to honor the player’s former teammates, David Silva and Vincent Kompany.
That trio, along with midfielder Yaya Toure, were central to City’s success over the past decade.
Aguero, who joined from Atletico Madrid in 2011, scored at least 28 goals in all competitions in six straight seasons for City and will go down as one of the greatest strikers to have played in the Premier League.
He is the league’s highest-scoring overseas player. His haul of 181 puts him fourth on the all-time scoring list, behind Alan Shearer (260), Wayne Rooney (208) and Andy Cole (187).
Aguero also has a Premier League-high 12 hat tricks.
Aguero said he forged “an indestructible bond with all those who love this club — people who will always be in my heart.”
“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,” Aguero said in his Twitter post. “Then, a new stage with new challenges will begin.”
City is on course for the “quadruple” this season, as it leads the Premier League by 14 points, has reached the final of the English League Cup, the semifinals of the FA Cup, and the quarterfinals of the Champions League — a trophy Aguero has yet to win at the club.
He has, though, won the Premier League four times, the League Cup five times, and the FA Cup once.
Aguero was able to change his game to fit in with the style of play demanded by Pep Guardiola after the Spanish coach took charge of City in 2016. He transformed himself into more of an all-round player, with the ability to drop deeper and link up play, but never lost his fearsome ball-striking and poacher qualities inside the area.
Aguero has previously spoken about returning to Argentina to finish his career with former club Independiente.
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Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80