The Argentine striker has enjoyed 10 trophy-laden years at the Etihad Stadium, but he’s only made six Premier League appearances so far this season and looks set to depart in the summer when his contract expires.
It was hoped that Gabriel Jesus would be the heir to Aguero’s throne, but the Brazilian striker has failed to sufficiently impress throughout his time in England.
A return of 79 goals in 180 appearances for the Cityzens is certainly not a bad return from the South American, however, Pep Guardiola’s men are planning on competing for the sports biggest titles year in year out, something Castles doesn’t think they’re capable of with Jesus leading the line.
He said: “They haven’t done well on these choices in the past. Gabriel Jesus was supposed to be the player who would develop into Aguero’s successor, and he hasn’t achieved that, to the extent that in the summer window before last, City were prepared to trade Jesus to Borussia Dortmund in order to get cash to hire a different striker.
“Joao Felix was one player that they identified to come into that role, but they’ve accepted that Jesus is probably not the long-term answer and need to recruit at that end of the field, and they need someone who is capable of playing at the level that they’re at, which is [to] defend the Premier League title.
“That would be the expectation for next season, given the huge lead they’ve developed at the top of the table and this 20-match, consecutive, winning run that they’re on at present, and to win the Champions League, which of course is the target this season, but it is the fundamental aim of Abu Dhabi to become the first owners of the club, who can get Manchester City to Champions League titles, so you need a player of that level.”
TIF Thoughts on Jesus…
While Jesus is undoubtedly a very good striker, as his goalscoring record shows, whether he is of the standard Manchester City need in order to win their maiden Champions League crown is up for debate.
Record goalscorer Aguero will leave huge boots to fill should he depart in the summer, and Guardiola will be desperate to get his replacement right.
There are a few top-quality strikers around at this moment in time, but the league leaders will be searching long and hard to try and ensure they secure the man who can fire them to domestic and European domination.