"AGUEROOOOOO... I swear, you'll never see anything like this ever again!"
Mario Balotelli’s only assist in the 2011-2012 Premier League came forth in dramatic terms, Agüero’s finish in a more pronounced fashion. Despite a dominant performance against Sunderland, the contribution of one man took away the title from the Red Devils. Possibly one of the most iconic moments in Premier League (and quite frankly, footballing) history, it was the beginning of Agüero’s road to immortality.
The Best City Has to Offer?
The echoes around Etihad after four frustrating decades reverberates till date. Online forums across Reddit, social media platforms with Facebook and Twitter, sports betting with Karamba, and of course, official Premier League discussion arenas—any kind of online platform offered footballing services erupted. It is already an established fact that Agüero is the hero that City needed, and deserved. After the stint Agüero pulled off, the bar was only raised higher.
With impeccable dribbling skills, exemplary vision, and flawless finishing, Agüero is definitely the most dominating striker City has had at their camp, and quite possibly could be the best in the league, ever. However, the Argentine, much like any other greats who have stepped into this sphere, is not immune to senescence. As he is slowly touching his mid-30s, he needs a possible replacement, and soon.
With his so-claimed lower centre of gravity (humility inference?), Jesus is currently one of the most prolific and agile youngsters in the Premier League. The Brazilian not only has agile footwork, but his finesse is rather unparalleled, especially for his age. While already an established dribbler, Jesus is also decently good in the air (getting over Ramos and heading it against Courtois itself counts as a great header). His dynamic demeanour has been highly acclaimed, but is he good enough?
Game of Numbers
A head-to-head comparison between various attributes of the two players, albeit might throw light on Jesus’ potential to be a worthy successor to Agüero, but after a certain point, these numbers are usually inconsequential. After all, while numbers might retrace and understand player propensities, it is rather onerous to emulate or predict future predicaments. Either way, some of these numbers (taken from FBRef) are good for study.
Goals and Assists
Despite playing more matches on paper this season (34 vs 24), Jesus is a couple of goals short to be at par with the Argentine. Additionally, Jesus has had twice as many assists as Agüero. While this can hint at the predatory nature of the Argentinian, it does throw light on Jesus’ ability to move games forward. While neither striker is particularly brilliant with assists, oftentimes you will find Jesus supporting the already established midfielders.
There is an amazing fact here though—Agüero’s goals per game is absolute bonkers. Make no mistake, he is right there with the elites, in terms of P90 Non-pen goals too. Whether or not any striker, let alone Jesus will be able to surpass numbers this massive—only time will tell.
Goal and Shot Creation
A bit of a tricky clause here, despite having a higher shot creation stat than Agüero (roughly 70 vs 51 SCA), Jesus does not particularly convert them into goals. While Agüero has a slightly worse GCA than Jesus (8 vs 13), again, that has not converted into real-world numbers. This just goes to show how humongous a factor experience is when it comes to converting chances into goals.
Another interesting point here is that Jesus has a higher shot on target % too. Ever so slightly, but a bit higher nevertheless. While Jesus is incredibly gifted in his own right when it comes to creating chances and being more accurate overall, there is very little sell in the idea of a striker if you are not being able to convert. We hope this conversion ratio, or lack thereof, fixes with age and experience, though.
Keeping the legendary Etihad moment aside, Agüero has not had too many decisive moments when it comes to propelling the course of the game, especially when it counts. While he has been more instrumental in the league and keeping the club ever so at its acumen, it is Jesus who has had those little moments that make or break their clause. Again, the numbers here might be a bit absurd, but you can take our word for it.
To Conclude—Replacement or Successor?
Let’s face it—it is impossible to find another striker like Agüero. Almost about to surpass Henry’s stats, Agüero is only behind Cole, Rooney, and Shearer. You are in fact looking at it from a different angle, so here’s a different pitch. Instead of asking whether Jesus is a great replacement or a successor, ask yourself whether the great Spaniard, Pep, will give him enough room for error before Jesus shines in his own right, and things will indeed look clearer.