Sergio Aguero’s two goals at the Hawthorns on Saturday helped City to three points against West Brom – and they also saw him move ahead of Blues legend Francis Lee into sixth place on the list of the club’s all-time leading goalscorers.
His first was an instinctive first-time finish from inside the box after a beautiful throughball from Ilkay Gundogan, and his second, the 149th of his City career, was one of the best he’s scored for the club - a powerful 20-yard strike that flew past Ben Foster into the top corner.
It was the latest example of Aguero’s prowess. He now sits 20th on the list of all-time leading Premier League goalscorers and boasts the best minutes-to-goals ratio since the competition was revamped in 1992.
His 149 City goals have been accumulated over just 221 games. Five more will see him leapfrog Joe Hayes, Billy Meredith and Colin Bell and become City’s third best goalscorer of all time, with Tommy Johnson (166) and Eric Brook (178) well within reach.
“I’m glad he’s overtaken me,” says Lee, who has dropped to seventh in the club’s list as a result of Aguero’s latest double. “I hope he gets another 20 and we win the title! It doesn’t bother me one bit. It’s a different era, different time.”
Aguero has started the season superbly. In 13 matches he’s scored 13 goals, with his instincts inside the area sharper than ever. Pep Guardiola, a perfectionist, wants more from him and has encouraged him to involve himself outside the area more than in previous seasons, something that was evident at the Hawthorns this weekend.
“Everything is good about him at the moment,” Lee says. “Pep’s got him buzzing. He’s got him moving around more... and he’s difficult to pin down. I think he’s going to get even better under Guardiola.
“I think he’s more mobile. I saw some stats on television that were interesting. Last season he averaged about 7.6 km per game, in terms of ground covered, whereas at West Brom it was over 10 km – and that’s a big increase.
“Maybe Pep’s got him moving around and making him an even more elusive target and taking him away from the penalty area at certain times.
“That type of play unbalances the tactics of a player who’s been given the job of marking you. Players get told to follow a player wherever goes and keep goal side.
“If you end up with a centre-back dragged out wide where he’s uncomfortable, it doesn’t suit him. And that’s probably what pep’s trying to get Sergio to do.”
There are few out-and-out strikers in world football who can match Aguero. His goalscoring record is testament to his quality, as is the high regard he is held in by the defenders he comes up against. Lee believes that he has natural instincts inside the area that mark him out as one of the finest on the planet.
“He’s a natural finisher who attracts the ball in the penalty area,” he says. “There used to be a centre-forward who played for Germany called Gerd Muller who wasn’t the best of players outside the penalty area – but inside the penalty area he was lethal and the ball would just fall for him. He attracted it.
“And Aguero has great pace – he’s quick from a standing start. The secret of most footballers who are quick is that over the first two or three yards they’re like lightening, and then they’re into their stride and they’re away. That’s one of his great attributes. His close control is excellent and he’s very quick into his stride.
“His ability frightens defenders.”
So how quickly can Aguero reach 179 goals and overtake Brook at the top of the club’s all-time leading scorers list?
“I think he can do it this year,” Lee declared. “If we have a good run in the league and carry on in the Champions League and go far in the FA Cup, he could get close to it.
“He’s easily got the best goals-to-game ratio. He’s a legend already at City - it’s just a case of how big of a legend he becomes.
“If he stays at the club for the duration of his contract, he’ll be way ahead and in an unassailable position.
“If he carries on and sees his contract out, he could run up another 100 goals. He could go on to be one of the top three Premier League goalscorers ever.”