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The End of an Era: Who is City's Undisputed GOAT?

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The City statue

Since Sheikh Mansour purchased Manchester City in 2008, there have been an abundance of top talent ply their trade at the Etihad stadium in an era of domination for the Citizens. Despite the sheer quantity of talent, three players stand above the rest: David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany.

With City recently announcing that they would be erecting a statue in honour of these three great players, we take a look at who Manchester City’s undisputed GOAT is.

Sergio Aguero

The Argentine attacker announced that he would be leaving City at the end of the season after a trophy-filled career in Manchester, meaning that he is the last of Roberto Mancini’s 2011/12 Premier League winning team to leave. The 32-year-old, who was signed from Atletico Madrid in 2011 for £35m, has netted an incredible 181 Premier League goals in 271 games and boasts the best minutes per goal ratio that the competition has ever seen.

Despite having an incredible record, Aguero will always be remembered in the long run for producing the most famous moment in Premier League history with his strike against Queens Park Rangers in the dying embers of the last game of the 2011/12 season, snatching the title away from Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United in the process.

Aguero now sits third in the all-time top scorer list for the Premier League, meaning the legendary figures of Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney and Andy Cole are the only two men that sit ahead of him, with the likes of Thierry Henry and Frank Lampard in his wake.

What no doubt gives Aguero the edge in this debate against David Silva and Vincent Kompany is how he is classed as arguably the greatest striker in Premier League history, given his unrivalled goals to game over Henry and Shearer. In fact, the debate continues to this day on whether or not the Argentine is the best foreign player of all time in the Premier League, so ranking him as City's greatest ever seems quite easy.

Aguero also boasts the second-most goals in Manchester derby history from a City player (9) and holds such records like scoring five in one game against Newcastle United, whilst he has utterly demolished the 'Big Six' on countless occasions.

David Silva

Since arriving from Valencia in 2010, the creative Spaniard has cemented his place amongst some of the greatest playmakers the Premier League has ever seen, and perhaps in all of Europe in this generation. Silva was well known for his ability to drift past players with ease and slot the ball through an eye of a needle for the final ball consistently, and every year he would have a highlight reel to rival absolutely any playmaker in the world.

The World Cup and double European Championship winner also boasts an almighty creative record in the Premier League for someone in his position, with 60 goals and 93 assists in 309 games, which beats most playmakers in the competition's history.

Despite not having as many iconic moments as Aguero - which is expected given the difference in positions - the classy Spaniard does boast the most trophies for City in their history with 11. But one question that must be asked of Silva is, was he as irreplaceable as the other two during his time at the Etihad? And, if you ask City fans, a lot of them will touch on how "Merlin" hasn't quite got the plaudits he deserved in comparison to the other two, but one thing is for certain: he's the greatest foreign playmaker in Premier League history and perhaps even the best playmaker in general.

The usual trio of Steven Gerrard, Lampard and Paul Scholes will take the status of the best midfielder of all time, whilst Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane are not too far behind either. However, in terms of feeding the strikers just behind that number nine role, has anybody ever done it better? Certainly not in the last decade they haven't.

Vincent Kompany

The 11 years that Vincent Kompany graced the Etihad pitch almost encapsulates City’s transition into one of Europe’s top clubs. Signed from Hamburg as a holding midfielder a month before the Sheikh Mansour takeover, the Belgian soon found his place in the team at the heart of Mark Hughes’s City defence, where in the 265 Premier League games that Kompany played, City managed 94 clean sheets.

Aguero, undisputedly, claims the most significant moment in City's Premier League history with that goal, but Kompany has two substantial goals to his name in City colours. The first, being during the iconic 2011/12 season in a title decider against United at the Etihad, where the defender powered in a header past David De Gea on the stroke of halftime to secure a 1-0 victory, shifting the momentum in City’s favour in the process. A few weeks later, Aguero would score against QPR, so in some ways, Kompany's goal was even more important to get them into this position in the first place.

Kompany’s second spectacular moment came in his last season with the club and it truly was the greatest way to depart a club we've seen on the Premier League shores. Pep Guardiola’s men were neck and neck with Liverpool in the title race in 2019, and with City needing a goal late on in a home clash with Leicester City, the Belgian edged closer and closer to the edge of Kasper Schmeichel's box before unleashing a thunderbolt past the Dane into the top corner - a goal Aguero himself would probably even state was one of his best-ever.

"Where do you want your statue, Vincent Kompany?" echoed Gary Neville around the Etihad after his goal against the Foxes, and that kinda sums it up. In reality, however, the likes of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand likely get ahead of him in the all-time defender list, but this isn't for a second to knock him down a peg, as Kompany truly is one of the greatest captains and defenders we've ever seen.

So who is City's GOAT?

Ultimately, it is difficult to suggest that one player is better than the other, given the fact that one is a defensive colossus, one a midfield maestro, and the other a goalscoring machine. But one has to be the GOAT, and for that tag, it has to be the man that has been the difference between winning titles and not, and that man is Aguero.

Yes, no City player has matched the defensive quality of Kompany, but for all their clean sheets, goals need to be scored, and who bagged most of them? Aguero did. In fact, he's scored more than any City player in history, and his winner against QPR in 2012, plus his opener in the title decider against Liverpool in 2019, the Argentine hasn't just sealed the deal in one Premier League title, but practically all of them. At the same time, Aguero has scored in two out of the five League Cup finals City have won during his time at the club, whilst Kompany has spent large chunks on the sidelines, such as the 2018/19 campaign, where City had their best season ever with a record-breaking 100 points.

Put it this way, you can't say Aguero is perhaps the greatest Premier League striker ever, and not state he is the best City player ever too, especially when Kompany and Silva do not take the status as the GOAT in their own position.

City's all-time top scorer is arguably the best to ever do it in England, and for this reason, he's the club's undisputed GOAT in our eyes.

By Harry Charlwood