It seems a lifetime ago that Cristiano Ronaldo lit up the Premier League. The sight of the Portuguese winger cutting in on his favoured right foot and unleashing an unstoppable strike past the diving goalkeeper. Or better yet, tip-toeing his way into positions—evading his marker—and passing the ball into an empty net.
Last season’s Premier League was perhaps one to forget for the quality. In a league where no one in truth deserved to win, the relegation battle provided more entertainment than on offer higher up the league. Even with Manchester City’s mass spending there was no standout player than there has been in previous seasons worthy enough to be classed as "world class."
It’s been two years since Ronaldo graced the Premier League, and perhaps two years since a world class player has stamped his authority on a season. £80 million was too much to resist, Real Madrid took the 26-year-old to Spain. England had lost a world-class talent to their Spanish La Liga counterparts.
The roles will reverse next season, however. Sergio Aguero signed from Atletico Madrid for £38 million to Manchester City in undoubtedly the transfer of the summer so far. For all of Liverpool and Manchester United’s mass spending this summer, neither has prized a potential world class talent into their clubs.
Rather Manchester City have made the purchase that could well give them the Premier League before the season has even begun. Aguero City have signed a match winner, a ball winner and a trophy winner. Lacklustre displays from Edin Dzeko and inconsistency from Mario Balotelli may well be cast aside once the Argentine is up and running next season.
The 23-year-old enjoyed relative success in Spain, winning the Europa League in 2010 against Fulham. Last season was his best goals return, scoring 20 in 31 games. A 20 goal-a-season striker is hard to come by, but Aguero has the ability to consistently hit the heights.
The transfer tag will not affect the 5’7” attacker, as the £24 million spent on Luis Suarez has been quickly forgotten following his extreme working and enthusiasm with and without the ball. Should Suarez too continue his form he has shown since January and into the Copa America, both players could be the difference in their teams winning domestic honours.
Aguero fits in that mould, just as hungry and just as passionate about not only playing, but winning. Even in an Atletico side that was always going to be the less favoured side in Madrid he contested his all for the cause.
The £38 million City would have spent on Aguero will have been shrewd business. Whilst the money spent on the likes of Dzeko, Balotelli and Roque Santa Cruz have been questioned—and rightly so—Aguero’s could soon be a bargain. Even more so once you take into consideration his former Atletico team mate Fernando Torres’ £50 million price tag.
While Torres is going through a difficult time in his football career, his transition from La Liga to Premier League was full of ease. In his debut season Torres scored 24 goals in 29 Premier League games. He took the league by storm, and became one of the feared strikers in World football. His then £25 million price tag was seen to be a bargain.
The following two seasons saw Torres maintain his form scoring 14 and 18 goals in successive seasons. Both players have notable similarities. Not only for their goal scoring record in La Liga, but for almost literally single-handedly carrying Atletico Madrid.
Critics speak of how Gerrard has taken Liverpool over the line at times, and the same can be said of Torres and Aguero during their time at Atletico.
In his five-year stint in Spanish capital, Aguero has scored 74 goals in 176 appearances. In Torres’ seven-year stay at his boyhood club; he scored 91 goals in 214 appearances. Should Aguero have stayed at Atletico for another two seasons, records suggest he would have easily matched Torres’ ratio, if not bettered it.
The way in which Torres provided the spark that lit the Premier League up and put it on the pedestal as the best league in the world can now be passed onto Aguero. He has broad shoulders to deal with the pressure. Playing with a hefty price tag over your head is nothing compared to being the partner of one of the greatest players ever daughter. Maradonna, not Messi, just to clarify.
The onus is now on the menacing Argentine to display his skills and ability against the pace and physicality of the Barclays Premier League. His work rate will win over his soon to be adoring fans at the Etihad Stadium.
While one hopes he doesn’t come to the form that Torres is currently finding himself in, rather he brings across the similar La Liga swagger and quality that saw Torres become an instant hit.