Since the arrival of Gabriel Jesus at the Etihad in 2017, it has become increasingly evident that he is set to replace the club legend Sergio Agüero. The increased playing time given to Jesus this season has suggested that this transition is drawing closer, however, does Agüero’s performance in front of goal suggest that this transition is coming sooner than maybe the statistics would warrant?
In the 2018/19 season, Agüero finished runner-up in the golden boot race with an impressive 21 goals, bettering his 19.95 xG. Last season most of his shots and goals clustered in the middle of the penalty area – with only several goals coming from other areas. This season is much of the same story, most shots and goals have come from the middle of the penalty area, although a higher proportion of these chances have come from the right-hand side of the box. Agüero’s service has remained much the same over both seasons as a majority of his shots have come from passes and crosses from his teammates and with sublime playmakers like De Bruyne and Silva playing alongside him, this is not surprising.
Whilst Agüero has only found the net 16 times this season compared to 21 times last season, Aguero has made 9 less appearances compared to last. In fact, Agüero’s goals per game (GsPG) this season, 0.67, is slightly better than last, 0.64. Furthermore, although he lacks playing time compared to others this season, his GsPG remains higher than many EPL heavyweights such as Vardy, Aubameyang, Rashford, Kane and Salah. Of further interest, Agüero’s GsPG is considerably higher than his seemingly eminent replacement Gabriel Jesus (0.41).
To conclude, the shot maps and GsPG statistics suggests that Agüero style and efficiency in front of goal aren’t changing anytime soon. Whilst Agüero has suffered more than 50 days in the physio room this season due to knee and muscular injuries and Guardiola has emphasised getting Jesus more first-team experience, Agüero once again has tallied very impressive performance stats this season and remains among the top of EPL forwards. Therefore, maybe City should not be preparing their goodbyes as soon as they may think. However, it seems inevitable his performances in the upcoming Champions League fixtures will prove vital in orchestrating the end of his time at the club.