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The Best Premier League Transfers Ever: Sergio Aguero to Man City (2011/12)
Strikers hailing from South America didn’t have the finest of track records in English football. Sergio Aguero however would change all of that upon his arrival in the Premier League in the summer of 2011.
The Argentine hitman would reach new heights with Manchester City, and would score a goal that will live long in the annals of the league.
This article is part of FootballTransfers’ greatest-ever Premier League deals. We have selected just one standout transfer from every season of the Premier League, including two honourable mentions. This list will then be gathered to provide a definitive list of the best pieces of business in the Premier League era.
Sergio Aguero, Atletico Madrid to Manchester City, £38m
Aguero arrived in Manchester almost a decade ago with a burgeoning reputation. The Argentine, then 23-years-old, had been at Atletico Madrid for five years, and was viewed as one of the most-cultured strikers in Europe.
Despite serious interest from Juventus, Man City managed to pull off the signing of Aguero by simply offering more money. This was still at a stage when the club was in its infancy under owner Sheikh Mansour. It was a lot of money, but over time, Aguero would be worth every penny.
City had finished third in the season prior to Aguero’s arrival, and needed to make the leap in quality under Roberto Mancini if they were going to supplant city neighbours Manchester United as the best side in the city.
Aguero hit the ground running with 30 goals in his first season in England in all competitions. It was an exceptional return. But only one of his goals that season will ultimately be remembered more than others.
The last day of the season saw both Manchester sides battling for the league title. City were at home to QPR, whilst United were away to Sunderland. United won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Wayne Rooney. At the same time, City were losing to the London side. Edin Dzeko pulled level late in the 90th minute, and then, bedlam.
Deep into stoppage time, City were still losing the title. Aguero passed the ball to Mario Balotelli, who somehow returned it to Aguero on the periphery of the QPR box. Aguero skipped past a tired QPR defender and smashed the ball low into Paddy Kenny’s net.
The goal was soundtracked by Martin Tyler’s – unusually unflappable – demeanour. “Aguerooooooooooo!!” entered into the footballing lexicon. The goal, scored in the dying embers of the league season, secured not just a first Premier League title for City, but also one of the most extraordinary moments in the history of the Premier League.
That moment alone would’ve justified the outlay on Aguero. But the goals kept flowing, and soon Aguero became a club legend. He won the Premier League golden boot in 2014-15 for netting 26 times in 33 league games, and has since added a room-full of trophies during his time with the club.
But he will forever be associated with that one moment in May 2012, that signalled City arrival in the big time.
Runner-Up: David De Gea, Atletico Madrid to Man Utd, £18.9m
With Edwin van der Sar retiring at the end of the 2010-11 season, Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson knew he needed a long-term goalkeeper. He highlighted De Gea as his target, and signed the player following Gary Neville’s testimonial in May 2011.
De Gea, much like Aguero, has spent close to a decade in Manchester, but without much of the success of his former Atletico Madrid teammate. De Gea was viewed as one of the best goalkeepers in the league for much of his time at Old Trafford, but his confidence and form has fallen in the last several seasons.
Runner-Up: Jordan Henderson, Sunderland to Liverpool, £16m
The current Liverpool skipper is the heartbeat of Jurgen Klopp’s side. It took Henderson several seasons to permanently establish himself in a central midfield position, but once he got there, he didn’t look back.
Blessed with a great understanding of the game, Henderson has been vital to the success of Klopp’s reign at Liverpool. He inherited the armband from Steven Gerrard in 2015 and has continually evolved his game, from a box-to-box midfielder to one which dictates the tempo of a game.