By Carl Markham, PA
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.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 29, 2021
“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.”
— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) March 29, 2021
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.”