Aguero joins Manchester City’s forward line as a compliment to and competition for Tevez
Manchester City this week secured the biggest transfer of the summer so far when Atletico Madrid forward Sergio Aguero arrived in England. Fresh from Copa America disappointment with Argentina, Aguero was originally intended as a replacement for the disgruntled Carlos Tevez, but may now find himself in competition with his compatriot.
This is not be the first time Roberto Mancini has been faced with the dilemma of how to accommodate a host of talented forward players – indeed, the Italian should be an old hand at it by now after nearly three years in charge at Eastlands. As well as Tevez and Aguero, Mancini currently has to juggle Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli, David Silva, Adam Johnson, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Yaya Toure in forward positions, with the futures of the unwanted Emmanuel Adebayor, Craig Bellamy and Roque Santa Cruz still to be decided. With at most four of those numerous names likely to start in Mancini’s formation – usually a central striker, two wingers and a supporting midfielder – there will again be some famous faces populating City’s bench at times this season.
Aguero was described by the Manchester Evening News as: “...too selfish...” but the newspaper also added that such greed is one of very few faults, and went on to say: “The flip side of his tendency to hog the ball is...wonderful close control and dribbling skills...allied to lethal finishing.” Such intricate ball control and precise shooting is certainly reminiscent of Tevez, but Argentinean World Cup winner and former Tottenham Hotspur player and manager Ossie Ardiles said: “If you compare [Aguero] with [Tevez], I would say [Aguero] is more of a proper striker, a traditional centre-forward.” The Guardian noted, however, that: “[Aguero] is unlikely to work as assiduously as Tevez on the field,” one of the City captain’s most distinguished qualities. There would certainly appear enough in Aguero’s style to suggest he will slot in to City’s line-up, but not perhaps as the direct replacement for Tevez, should one be needed.
The Guardian article continued: “If Aguero does sign, it will be intriguing to see how Mancini uses him. In [Mancini’s] favoured 4-2-3-1 system, [Aguero] seems more likely as the focal point rather than...a deeper-lying role, behind Balotelli or Dzeko,” which contradicts the Manchester Evening News’ assertion that: “Like Tevez, [Aguero] is more suited to a deep-lying striker’s role.” Nevertheless, the Manchester Evening News did add: “[Aguero] can be effective as an out-and-out centre-forward if required,” and: “Aguero’s tactical flexibility is such that he would have no problem playing alongside Tevez.” Such are the options provided by Aguero and the cadre of other attackers available to Mancini that the problems of the former Inter boss are increased rather than solved by Aguero’s arrival, although, as the football cliché goes, it is a good problem to have. Tevez’s success in English football, and the evident similarities between Tevez and Aguero, indicate the newcomer should be able to follow suit, and Aguero could be the catalyst for City to take another step forward.