Is Sergio Aguero now the finest international goalscorer to ever grace the English Premier League?
The Manchester City goal machine scored a hat-trick against Aston Villa, Sunday, to eclipse Thierry Henry as the division’s top international goalscorer.
Aguero, from Argentina, now has an incredible 177 goals, two more than French Arsenal legend Henry and 33 more than Dutchman Robin van Persie.
The hat-trick at Villa Park was Aguero’s 12th in the Premier League, which also surpassed Alan Shearer’s previous hat-trick record.
Aguero left the pitch with a big smile on his face and the match ball under his arm, a memento of his record hat-trick.
“I want to keep on scoring,” Aguero told broadcaster Sky Sports. “So I keep focused every game.”
Since its inception the Premier League has introduced foreign talent to English shores, and surely Aguero now ranks among the best of them.
“Incredible person, incredible player”
The 31-year-old joined Manchester City in 2011 from Spanish club Atletico Madrid and quickly established himself as a major talent, and a powerful goal-poacher.
“He’s one of the most incredible players I’ve seen in this league,” Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said.
“He’s an incredible person. He has to be always fit. He loves to play football and in the final third he is the guy who has the goal in his head.”
Aguero is City’s all-time goalscorer with 249 goals — the important of them all perhaps his late strike against Queens Park Rangers to snatch the club’s first Premier League title from rivals Manchester City in 2012.
Alan Shearer is the league’s top goalscorer with 260 goals. Asked whether he is now chasing that record, Aguero smiled: “I will try … It’s too much goals but I will try.”
Manchester City may be lagging behind Liverpool in the defense of their title — the champions are now 14 points adrift in second — but it was a ruthless 6-1 victory at Villa Park which saw the home side drop into the relegation zone.
Riyad Mahrez set City on their way with a brilliant individual goal on 17 minutes, weaving past two defenders before lashing the ball into the net.
Just six minutes later, Mahrez added a second when he found the ball at his feet after some messy defending from Villa.
Kevin De Bruyne was at the heart of City’s final two first-half goals as he first set up Aguero and then Gabriel Jesus. Aguero unleashed a stunning strike into the top corner before Jesus slotted home De Bruyne’s perfect-pitched pass.
The relentless forward momentum from the champions continued after the break when Aguero was on the mark again, sliding home David Silva’s pass before he added a third in the 80th minute.
Mahrez also paid tribute to his teammate Aguero, saying: “The statistics speak for itself. He’s a legend for this club and for the Premier League.
“He shows it weeks in and week out. He has a lot of quality but he doesn’t need a lot of chances to score and this shows what a big striker he is.”