Manchester City's Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero.
Manchester City's Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero.

Who is the Premier League’s best ever import?

NOTHING LIKE A quick tweet to prompt a debate.

As Sergio Aguero became Manchester City's greatest ever goalscorer last night I declared him as the best foreign import the Premier League has had.

It was a statement that was liked by the blue side of Manchester, caused outrage in the red and no little disdain from North London where Thierry Henry ruled.

There are arguments for a number of players and understandably Manchester United fans will hold up Eric Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo as contenders for the number one spot.

Eric Cantona playing for Manchester United in 1996.
Eric Cantona playing for Manchester United in 1996.

Cantona's arrival at Old Trafford in December 1992 was undoubtedly a catalyst for that first Premier League success and put them on the road to domination.

He is rightly revered for his five years at Old Trafford during which time Ferguson was forging a trophy winning machine.

The Stretford End still sings his name as they do about Ronaldo.

He was at United for six years but it was the final three where he really made his name.

In that time he was for me the most exciting player the Premier League has witnessed.

As Sir Bobby Charlton said he was the kind of player that drew you to the edge of your seat.

Let us not forget however that it was really for three seasons, three spectacular season yes, but three.

He did not arrive a world beater, Sir Alex Ferguson turned him into one and then at the very peak of his powers he was gone.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring a goal for Manchester United in 2004.
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring a goal for Manchester United in 2004.
 

Henry's statistics in eight years at Arsenal are truly staggering with 226 goals in 369 appearances from 1999 to 2007.

He came into a side that had already tasted Premier League success and helped them to two more.

I would put another Arsenal player in my top five in Dennis Bergkamp.

He did things on the fields of English football that made you gasp.

That juggle and finish at Filbert Street, the bamboozling turn and strike at St.James' Park which had you watching time and again to work out how he did it.

So why in this exulted company does Aguero come out as my number one.

Thierry Henry scored 226 goals in 369 appearances for Arsenal.
Thierry Henry scored 226 goals in 369 appearances for Arsenal.

It is not just the fact that he provided the most dramatic moment in any league in the world ever with his last gasp goal against QPR in 2012.

Although let us linger on that for a moment the way he played the ball into Mario Balotelli and ran on to the return.

A striker with less poise would have hit it then, in a panic and hope, but he took one more vital touch to give him that extra bit of space he needed and walloped the ball home.

It was a moment that encapsulated his goalscoring genius.

When he arrived from Atletico Madrid in 2011 City were still searching for that first title since 1968.

They had finally got their first trophy in 35 years with the FA Cup the previous season but they needed that title.

They needed somebody like Aguero and he didn't disappoint. He was the reasons they won it and without him they simply would not.

His level of consistency has been astonishing.

In the Premier League his 129 goals in 188 games means he has the best minutes-to-ratio for players who have scored 50 or more in the competitions history.

Manchester City's Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero.
Manchester City's Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero.

A goal every 108 minutes.

He has 20 or more goals in five of his six seasons at the club.

Perhaps because there is no fuss or fanfare around him that sometimes he goes under the radar when people are considering their very best.

After all he has somehow never made the PFA team of the year.

Aguero just gets on with it and does it season after season.

At City there has been big money, there have been big managers and other star players around him.

But quite simply without Aguero, City would not be the City they have become over the last six years.

While Cantona kick started United I believe they would still have gone on to great success in the nineties, Arsenal already had a winning mentality from their first Premier League success.

Ronaldo shone brightly on these shores but for all too short a space of time.

Henry's scoring was phenomenal, but he arrived into a side that had already tasted it's first Premier League success two seasons earlier. They were there.

Aguero lifted City up. He is the main reason for this modern day City and for me is the best finisher to come from abroad that the Premier League has seen.

You can pick holes in all the arguments and there is no right answer, but as ever in football it's a great debate.

This article originally appeared on The Sun



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