Monday 11 December 2017

Aguero proving a valuable upgrade on Tevez


Mark Ogden

Sergio Aguero was not the only Manchester City forward to earn a standing ovation for his efforts on Saturday evening.

Seven-thousand miles away in Buenos Aires, Carlos Tevez strode on to the pitch at La Bombonera, the home of Boca Juniors, to milk the acclaim of the supporters of his former team, who chanted 'Leave the English, come back here' during his appearance at the half-time interval of Martin Palermo's testimonial game.

Back in Manchester, Aguero ploughed through a blizzard to inspire Roberto Mancini's team to victory against Fulham. The £34m forward scored the opener from the penalty spot and then proceeded to play a part in City's second and third goals.

While Tevez continues his rebellion against his employers, Aguero has quietly proven himself to be just as talismanic as his Argentina team-mate.

When you consider the baggage that accompanied Tevez even prior to his flight to Buenos Aires -- the touchline spats with Mancini, the public statements of discontent -- Aguero could be viewed as an upgrade on the previous model.

The footballing equivalent of Corporal Jones waving his bayonet and shouting "They don't like it up 'em, Mr Mainwaring" is the assertion that a foreign player will fold every time he feels a fleck of snow on his cheek. Not Aguero.

In Aguero's native Argentina, there are glaciers and fjords that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would recognise. Madrid, where he spent five years, can be unforgivingly cold in winter. Saturday's derby between Real Madrid and Getafe was played in excruciating conditions.

The February snow was no more of a barrier to Aguero than Fulham's back four.

His was a show of skill, balance and commitment that will have given the luckless Chris Baird -- who conceded a dubious penalty to Adam Johnson which his manager Martin Jol described as "the most beautiful dive I have ever seen" -- and the rest of the Fulham defence nightmares.

And, yet, despite taking his tally to 15 goals in his first season in English football, there is a demand for Aguero to do more.

"I think Sergio has done great, but he can do better," claimed City goalkeeper Joe Hart. "He's got a lot more to offer and he'll be awesome for Man City when that happens."

Aguero could, indeed, be that rarest of creatures, a truly big-money transfer who succeeds in the Premier League.

Starting with Juan Sebastian Veron's fateful move from Lazio to Manchester United, there have been eight transfers of around £30m. Only one, Rio Ferdinand, can be said to have been an undiluted success. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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