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5 Strikers Who Could Replace Sergio Aguero At Manchester City

Sergio Aguero during a training session
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After 10 years and 257 goals, Sergio Aguero’s time in Manchester has finally come to an end. The Argentine striker has announced via his social media that this season will be his last at the Etihad. Aguero arrived at Manchester City in 2011 – with the club having gone 44 years without a league title. Fittingly, he leaves a decade later with the Cityzens comfortably the best side in Europe. It has been a stunning transformation in the blue half of Manchester and Aguero has been at the heart of that, winning 4 (soon to be 5) league titles, 6 domestic cups and leaving England as the top overseas scorer in the history of the Premier League.

While his career at City has been prolific, his last year at the club has been ridden with injuries and the Argentine has only managed 5 starts and 1 goal in the League so far. City, at times this season have looked better with no central striker on the pitch and playing 5 midfielders capable of interchanging with each other instead. Nevertheless, Pep Guardiola will have to dip into the transfer market in the summer to replace Aguero and here are the 5 players they could sign next season to replace their legendary striker.

1. Erling Haaland


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Signing Erling Haaland would be the crème de la crème of strikers that would transform Manchester City from being an amazing team to a nigh-on impenetrable force of nature. This move would shift the tectonic plates of European football much like Kevin Durant signing for the Golden State Warriors changed the NBA in 2016 for all you basketball fans out there.

Haaland’s record speaks for itself and at age 20, he is already heralded as the heir to the throne that is soon to be vacated by Messi and Ronaldo. Haaland is the complete centre forward that is blessed with speed, elite movement, technical ability and clinical finishing. His record speaks for itself with him averaging 1 goal every 90 minutes in the Bundesliga since his arrival.  

There is no doubt Haaland would slot seamlessly into this City side, and score goals for fun while being supplied by Foden and De Bruyne. The question is whether City can beat the competition to sign the Norwegian and upset their wage structure and transfer philosophy to sign such a generational talent. Guardiola has insisted that it is impossible to do these numbers this summer considering that Haaland would cost over £150 million in terms of his transfer fee alone and most clubs in Europe are still reeling from the financial impacts of Covid-19

2. Romelu Lukaku


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An alternate option to Haaland and one player that City are heavily considering is Inter’s Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku is no stranger to Manchester having spent 2 years with United before leaving for Inter in 2019. The Belgian has taken his game to a different level in Italy scoring 34 in his first season in Milan and 27 so far this season. At 27, Lukaku is in the prime of his career and would be a significant coup for a City side that wants to go to the next level.

It would cost City somewhere between £70-90 million to sign the Belgian and Inter might be forced to sell their star man to help mitigate the financial challenges the club has faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

3. Andre Silva


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One cheaper alternative to both Lukaku and Haaland who has been just as prolific as the pair is Eintracht Frankfurt’s, Andre Silva. Silva has 23 goals in the Bundesliga this season – two more than Haaland – and has resurrected his career after a failed move from Porto to AC Milan in the summer of 2017. His expected goals also match up with Haaland with Silva averaging 0.62 non-penalty xG per 90 minutes compared to 0.73 for Haaland.

While Silva would be a more economical option than Haaland, the one lingering question surrounding his move would be that he has failed at a big club before in Milan and the track records of strikers leaving Frankfurt for other European heavyweights (see Luka Jovic to Real Madrid) has not been great. However, at 25, Silva is the perfect age and has the perfect profile to be incredibly successful at a club like Manchester City.

4. Danny Ings


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One player who has been linked to Manchester City in recent months is Southampton’s Danny Ings. While Ings has had a stop-start season riddled with injuries, he had a great year in 19/20 and was the second-highest scorer in the league with 22 goals. Ings at 28, offers significant Premier League experience and is a great presser who would suit Pep Guardiola’s style of football. He may not be a prolific out and out striker like Lukaku or Haaland, but would be a great addition to the squad and could act as a backup to Gabriel Jesus. Crucially, Ings has only 12 months left on his deal in the summer and Southampton may be forced to sell him to recoup the £20 million they paid Liverpool in 2019.

5. Tammy Abraham


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It might be surprising to see Tammy Abraham’s name on this list given that he plays for City’s title rivals Chelsea but there could be an opportunity to sign Abraham given his current situation with the Blues. Abraham doesn’t seem to be in Tuchel’s plans and is the 4th choice centre forward at the club behind Havertz, Werner and Giroud having not featured in any of their last 6 PL games. He also only has two years left on his contract and would be unwilling to extend it given the lack of playing time so it is more than likely he leaves Stamford Bridge this summer.

In terms of his profile, Abraham actually shows up pretty strong and had an outstanding 2019/20 PL season under Lampard where he scored 15 goals in 25 starts. This season he has been more erratic but still has a non-penalty xG of 0.57 – the 3rd most amongst strikers in the league. Under the right system and manager, Abraham could thrive and Manchester might be the perfect place for him to complete his development.

Replacing the goals and gravitas of Aguero is no easy feat, but if there is one club who you would bet on to get it right, it would be Manchester City. Haaland might be the straightforward option on the pitch, but if the economics don’t work out, City have plenty of other options to look at to solve their woes up front.


[Image Credit: Sergio Aguero]