Sergio Aguero has been under the spotlight in FPL over the past few game weeks, with managers questioning the importance of owning the Argentine. Aguero has become the highest owned player on the game with over 50%, and has created a headache for many of these FPL managers. We have decided to take a look at the question posed and whether it is time to sell Aguero or not.
How has Aguero performed so far this season?
Sergio Aguero leads the FPL points scoring for strikers with 52 points having only played an average of 72 minutes a match. He has scored 5 goals and assisted 4, only bettered by Eden Hazard and Callum Wilson in contributions to goals.
Aguero’s underlying stats have also been impressive, with an xG90 of 0.72 and xA90 of 0.30. His expected goals is at 4.75, which is -0.25 less than his actual goals, suggesting that he is performing at a sustainable rate.
In comparison, Hazard has an expected goal of 3.79, -3.21 less than his actual goals this season. Although it doesn’t necessarily mean Hazard cannot continue over-performing, it is interesting to see that Aguero is playing around his expected output.
On a team basis, it is also worth noting that Aguero is playing in a team that are currently the top goal scorers in the league with 21, Arsenal second with 19 and Chelsea on 18. Man City are also the top goalscorer at home, averaging over 3 goals per match.
The Worrying Signs
City’s top of the table clash against Liverpool at Anfield surprisingly finished 0-0 in a cagey affair. From that match, came a worrying statistic that have prompted questions over the importance of Aguero in our FPL teams.
Aguero didn’t register a single shot or key pass throughout the match. It was an uncharacteristically below par performance by Aguero and his stats reflect this. Prior to the match, there was plenty of discussion in the FPL community about whether to own Kane or Aguero. Although Kane didn’t score, Aguero didn’t defend his corner after being substituted after 65 minutes. It was also mentioned that City and Aguero had played 5 games in 17 days prior to the match at Liverpool, and could of been a contributing factor to his performance.
So should we be worried after this performance?
We don’t think so. It’s very easy to jump to conclusions after performances like this and exaggerate the extent of an issue with a player. You have to look at the long term instead of focussing on a single match.
For example, Aguero had 7 shots in 67 minutes against Brighton the previous week. However, stats like this can be quickly forgotten and thats why it’s important to look at a broader view than one match.
One thing that FPL managers should be worried about however, is the minutes that Aguero is playing. He has averaged 63 minutes in his last 4 Premier League matches, with Guardiola choosing to bring on Jesus at this time. Man City now have to play 7 games in 22 days after the international break. Here’s the fixture list:
City play both of their most difficult Premier League matches after a Champions League game, and it would seem that the success in Europe may dictate the minutes Aguero plays.
Jesus started the home match v Lyon, whereas Aguero started the away match against Hoffenheim. It is unclear whether Guardiola will continue rotating the pair, but it makes Aguero’s minutes in the league unclear.
Being the leading striker in FPL points, Aguero has some strong arguments as to why he should continue to start in our teams.
Firstly, Aguero has returned points in every home match this season, and notable home matches against Burnley and Southampton in his next 3 could see him continue this form. And on Burnley, they have had the most shots conceded per match (20.1), an interesting stat when playing against the highest shots per game (4.8) in Aguero.
Although Aguero’s minutes are a big worry about owning him, he hasn’t travelled with Argentina over the international break. Unlike Jesus, he will be resting over the break and not travelling around the world for multiple international matches. This doesn’t put any guarantee on him playing a whole match, but it would be very surprising to see him benched for the home match against Burnley.
Aguero is also playing in a free scoring team that lead the way for goals in the Premier League. And a certain Kevin De Bruyne is expected to return for the Burnley match. The Belgian recorded the most assists in the league last season (16), and will only add to the goal threat that Aguero currently has.
If you were planning on selling Aguero, then it’s worth acknowledging the alternatives available and whether they provide value.
Harry Kane (£12.5m) is the premium alternative that we have highlighted before in our previous article. Although he is an additional +£1.0m, you would be getting a player with guaranteed playing time. Kane has played 90 minutes in every league match this season, and with Tottenham’s recent injuries they can’t afford to rest Kane. He is taking less shots per 90 (3.25) than Aguero, but has scored the same amount of goals this campaign.
The negatives about transferring in Kane, outside of the additional funds required, is the fixtures for Spurs. They face tough matches against Man City, Wolves and Chelsea along with balancing a tricky Champions League group where they must win their remaining matches.
After a tough start to the season, Lacazette (£9.6m) has managed to cement his position as Arsenal’s main striker. He has scored 4 goals and assisted 4, playing 90 minutes in the last 4 out of 5 matches. Lacazette is still only owned by 10% of FPL managers and at £9.6m he would provide some useful funds to strengthen the remaining players in the squad.
The final option that we have identified as a value alternative is Jamie Vardy (£9.0m). His season has been varied, with 3 goals and 1 assist but a red card in GW2 against Wolves. The alternatives that we have mentioned are not current minute risks and the same applies to Vardy.
Leicester have a great run of fixtures coming up after game week 9, something we mentioned when identifying the ‘must own’ players outside the top 6. Like Aguero, Vardy also has the added bonus of not playing any international matches over the break.
Should you sell Aguero
Owning any FPL player in a Guardiola team will cause a headache and Aguero is no exception. His lack of minutes in recent league matches isn’t making the value of him anymore attractive, and with other alternatives playing 90 minutes, it questions his value.
We think that if you have owned Aguero since the start of the season, then you have already experienced first hand the rotation pains. If you have stuck with Aguero for this long, then we don’t think there is anymore reason to sell him now.
You don’t own Aguero without knowing the risk that comes with his minutes, you own him because of his proven goalscoring and explosive nature in matches. Very few FPL strikers can match his ability to score hat tricks, and that’s the question you have to ask yourself.
Owning Aguero is a risk, and that’s why he’s a great player to measure what type of FPL manager you are. For us, we are happy to take the risk of him playing 60 minutes, for the opportunity of him scoring a hat trick this weekend against Burnley. But if you are an FPL manager that needs assurances, we think a transfer to Lacazette or Kane would be the wise move.
However, if you do this transfer it would take a brave person to not have other City players to cover the attacking returns. The return of De Bruyne could be a wise transfer, and at £9.7m would be a great entry into the City attack and consistent game time. No matter what type of manager you are or strategy you play, taking out Aguero this game week would be brave. We’ve mentioned the potential of him scoring big against Burnley and his alternatives all have trickier matches on paper for GW9.
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