Sergio Aguero will leave Manchester City when his contract expires at the end of the season, the club has announced.
The 32-year-old Argentine, considered to be one of the greatest players in Premier League history, joined from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and went on to win four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and five League Cups.
He will be forever remembered for scoring a dramatic injury-time winner against QPR in 2012 to secure Manchester City’s first top-flight league title in 44 years.
Aguero is City’s all-time top scorer with 257 goals in 384 appearances but has struggled with injuries in recent seasons. He has made just eight league appearances this season, scoring one goal, as his team hunt for an unprecedented quadruple.
“When a cycle comes to an end, many sensations arise,” Aguero wrote in a social media post.
“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 this day and age.
“With the guidance of the owners and the contributions of many players, we earned a place among the greatest of the world,” he added.
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Statue for Aguero
Despite his lack of playing time this season, Aguero’s achievements at City will never be diminished.
Alongside players such as Vincent Kompany and David Silva, the striker helped usher in a new era of success for the club which was backed by wealthy investment from the Abu Dhabi United Group.
City announced that fan favorite Aguero will be honored with a statue outside the Eithad Stadium for his role in transforming the club into one of the best teams in European football.
“Sergio’s contribution to Manchester City over the last 10 years cannot be overstated,” said Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak in a statement.
“His legend will be indelibly etched into the memories of everyone who loves the club and maybe even in those who simply love football.”
Aguero is the highest overseas goalscorer in Premier League history (181) and is likely to attract plenty of attention around Europe’s top clubs when he becomes a free agent.
City said it was planning to mark his departure in the last game of the season when it is hoped thousands of fans will be allowed back into the stadium as lockdown restrictions ease across England.
“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 added.
“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 at the highest level.”
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Social media reacts
The announcement sparked plenty of reaction on social media with fans and players reacting online.
The Premier League’s all-time top scorer Alan Shearer wrote on Twitter: “Legend. What a player.”
Meanwhile, one of the club’s most high-profile supporters, former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher, was effusive in his praise of the Argentine.
“To the 1 n only SERGIO AGUERO thankyou for all the good times you brought to our club you absolute LEGEND good luck in the future LG x,” Gallagher wrote on Twitter.
In a Q+A session on Twitter, Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford was asked where Aguero ranked in the list of greatest Premier League strikers.
“Very close to the top,” he answered. “Just look at his record.”