Sergio Aguero: Haaland is my player of the season, but De Bruyne is close

Sergio Aguero: Haaland is my player of the season, but De Bruyne is close

It is fair to say that Sergio Aguero is somebody who knows a thing or two about scoring goals in the Premier League.

As the competition’s fifth-highest scorer of all time, the former Manchester City striker – across a period of 10 years with the club – notched 184 goals, with his highest tally coming in the 2014/15 campaign.

That season he found the back of the net 26 times in England’s top division, which won him the Golden Boot.

Many, including Pep Guardiola, believed that his departure from the club back in 2021 would be difficult for City to handle – there was even talk that they ‘could not replace him’.

However much Aguero is still respected at the Etihad Stadium though, that statement has been very much proven wrong, with Erling Haaland smashing the record for goals in a single season this year.

His 36 goals in the league were a major factor leading to Man City’s fifth title in six years, and Aguero made clear his admiration for the Norwegian.

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Erling Haaland won this season’s Golden Boot (Photo by Stephanie Meek – CameraSport via Getty Images)

When asked for his Premier League player of the season, Aguero responded: “Haaland. I think Kevin [De Bruyne] also deserves to be in that place. But for being his first season in the Premier League and having managed to break the goal record, something very difficult to achieve, I think Erling deserves that recognition.”

Unsurprisingly, Aguero also felt compelled to include the 22-year-old striker in his team of the season, which also had a large number of Man City players, such as Ederson, John Stones and Bernardo Silva.

That said, he also found room for some rivals, as Andrew Robertson, Lisandro Martinez and Martin Odegaard were all in his starting XI too, given their performances this year.

Praise for Alvarez

One player who was not put in that list but was pointed out by Aguero was that of his compatriot Julian Alvarez, who has enjoyed a remarkable season for both club and country.

Since winning the World Cup back in December, the 23-year-old has now also lifted the Premier League title, and Aguero named him as his candidate for Young Player of the Season.

“There are several that could also be,” he said. “I really liked Saka’s season, but I chose Julian.

“It is not easy to reach the Premier League directly from South America, with no experience in Europe, join the team and be decisive every time he has to play.”

Whilst the league season may have come to a conclusion, there are still two hugely important games to come for the Citizens as they search for a potentially historic treble.

The FA Cup Final is in just a few days’ time, with Manchester United their opponents, and a week later it is the Champions League final in Istanbul, as they face Inter in their bid to lift the European cup for the first time.

Comparisons have already inevitably been drawn to the Man United team that won the treble back in 1999, but Aguero was keen not to be drawn on comparisons between this City side and Sir Alex Ferguson’s team back then.

“It is difficult to compare times, they are different and with a different style of games. That was a great team that achieved very important things and has all that recognition.”

The Argentine had a similar reaction when questioned on how they ranked compared to the Barcelona team which won La Liga, the Copa del Rey, and the Champions League back in 2009.

“It is not comparable because the times are different and the leagues too. But they are surely teams that left and leave their mark and that have their place in history.

“The one from Barca with a midfield that is one of the best of all time, with Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta and, fundamentally, due to the presence of Messi, which makes it unrepeatable.

“City for their perseverance, for having managed to be dominant in the most competitive league in the world and staying at the top for many consecutive years, something very difficult to achieve”

Even since Aguero left, the dominance that Man City have shown in the English top flight only seems to have increased, despite predictions of a potential fall from grace with every year that goes by.

This season in particular, it seemed as though Arsenal would end up pipping Guardiola’s side to first place, but the Gunners slipped up slightly and City pounced to reclaim top spot, which they held onto until the end of the campaign.

‘Still hungry for glory’

Aguero admitted that it had been an unusual season, with the break for the World Cup disrupting some preparations, but that he believes there is no reason why this City team cannot keep winning into the future.

“[It is] a new title and well deserved. It was a different start due to the fact that the World Cup was played and that influenced the fact that in that first part of the season the performance was not optimal.

“However, they were able to resume their path and the final sprint was magnificent, as City has accustomed us to.”

“This team is constantly evolving and always for the better. That excellent state of form has been a constant in recent years. The team does not relax, it is still hungry for glory and the signings have quickly made that commitment. I think that’s one of the keys. 

“A team with a very well-oiled operation that manages to get great players to join almost immediately and give very good results. Grealish has shown it, in a year he became a key player; Haaland breaking the record for goals in his first season in the Premier League, Julián Álvarez with a great first year with no previous experience in Europe and Akanji who performed as he would always have played in England. 

“If we add to that the great performance of Kevin, Gundo, Bernardo, Rodri, Mahrez, Foden and all the boys, we find ourselves with a very rich squad that always manages to play the same and at a high level.”

Nevertheless, Aguero was magnanimous enough to recognise just how far Arsenal had pushed Man City this season, whilst also giving a nod to their city rivals in the form of their Red Devils when looking ahead to next season.

“I think that Arsenal has established a very important base of young players with a long way to go. Arteta will try to reinforce his lines and will be one of the rivals to beat.

“We must not forget about United, who have returned to their competitive spirit and will be one of those who most want to defeat City.”

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