Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has become the highest-scoring overseas player in Premier League history.

The Argentina star's double during Sunday's match at Aston Villa moved him on to 176 goals in England's top flight – one clear of Arsenal and France great Thierry Henry.

Aguero and Henry are undoubtedly two of the finest attacking players ever to have graced the league, but how do their records stack up alongside one another?

With a little help from Opta, we decided to find out.

Henry's home comforts

Both men's scoring rates are remarkably similar, with Henry's 175 goals coming in 258 appearances and Aguero usurping him on his 255th. The City favourite also shades it in terms of minutes per goal, with each strike clocking in at 106.86 minutes alongside Henry's 122.

The two players heavily favour their lethal right feet. Aguero notched 125 with that trusty boot – including his unforgettable title-clincher against QPR in 2012 – and Henry netted 136 with his stronger foot.

Aguero has 33 and 17 left footed and headed goals to Henry's 31 and 6, although the 1998 World Cup winner boasts more from long range – crashing in 29 from outside the penalty area to Aguero's 21.

Under pressure inside the box, Aguero has held his nerve from the spot 26 times to Henry's 23.

Indeed, one of the most significant differentials is home and away goals, with 55 of Henry's coming beyond the environs of Highbury and Emirates Stadium. Aguero has a century of Etihad Stadium strikes (102) but 74 on his travels.

Aguero the Toon tormentor

No Premier League team have felt the force of Aguero more often than Newcastle United. He has 15 goals in 13 appearances against them, although five of those came in the same 6-1 win in 2015.

Tottenham were used to the threat of Henry but nowadays struggle to contain City's prolific Argentine, who has 11 in 15 games versus the north Londoners. Chelsea (10 in 14) are another capital club to have suffered plenty of Aguero punishment.

The distinction of being Henry's most scored against Premier League opponent is a three-way tie between Villa, Charlton Athletic and Middlesbrough, each of whom conceded 12 times to the former Monaco and Juventus forward.

Both Aguero and Henry have delighted their adoring faithful with eight league goals apiece at the expense of Manchester United, although the former's have come at a faster rate, across 893 minutes as opposed to 1,178.

Among his top 10 most agreeable opponents. Aguero's eight goals in eight outings versus Stoke City came across a mere 595 minutes. Henry plundered seven in six versus Portsmouth – a handsome return on 540 minutes' work.

Silva service and Pires the provider

Of course, both men have benefitted considerably from a stellar supporting cast.

No player has assisted Aguero in the Premier League more frequently than David Silva (21), although the former Spain playmaker will leave City at the end of this season, by which point the mercurial Kevin De Bruyne (18) might have already surpassed him.

Yaya Toure's 11 assists for Aguero equalled the tally supplied by Henry's erstwhile attacking ally Dennis Bergkamp, one fewer than the late Jose Antonio Reyes (12).

However, Robert Pires stands clear with 17 Premier League assists for Henry during a period where the duo excelled for club and country.

Another Frenchman, Samir Nasri, assisted Aguero on nine occasions – the same number of goals Freddie Ljungberg and Patrick Vieira laid on for Henry.

When it comes to returning the favour, Henry is clearly out in front with 74 assists to Aguero's 46.

Sergio Aguero is the top-scoring overseas player in Premier League history after he netted twice during Manchester City's match at Aston Villa on Sunday.

The Argentina striker rifled in a blistering strike from 20 yards to give Pep Guardiola's side a 3-0 lead inside half an hour at Villa Park, before collecting a pass from David Silva and placing home his second after the break.

It moved Aguero on to 176 goals in England's top flight, surpassing the mark of 175 established by Arsenal and France great Thierry Henry.

City star Aguero, 31, is now fifth overall on the Premier League's all-time list, behind Frank Lampard (177), Andy Cole (187), Wayne Rooney (208) and Alan Shearer (260).

Aguero, who joined City from Atletico Madrid for £38million in July 2011, is his club's record goalscorer with 248 in all competitions.

Manchester City captain David Silva will make his first Premier League start for a month at Aston Villa, where Pep Guardiola has selected Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus in his XI.

Silva, who will end a 10-year association with City when his contract expires at the end of this season, sustained a thigh injury during December's 2-1 defeat to Manchester United and made brief substitute appearances against Everton and Port Vale at the start of this month.

Aguero and Jesus last started a Premier League game in tandem against Newcastle United in September 2018.

It means Guardiola has granted Aguero a shot at overhauling Thierry Henry as the Premier League's leading overseas goalscorer. The Argentina striker is on 174, one behind Henry's record mark.

Jesus' fellow Brazilian Ederson is back from suspension as one of six changes from the City team that beat United 3-1 in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final at Old Trafford in midweek, with Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling among those dropping to the bench.

Danny Drinkwater makes his Villa debut in a midfield featuring ex-City man Douglas Luiz.

The former Leicester City player joined on loan from Chelsea this week following an unsuccessful stint at Burnley, where his only Premier League appearance came in a 4-1 loss to City at the start of last month.

Manchester United or Real Madrid?

Ajax star Donny van de Beek is a wanted man following his exploits for the Eredivisie champions.

But the LaLiga giants are reportedly poised to get their target at the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – VAN DE BEEK SET FOR MADRID

Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek is on the verge of joining Real Madrid instead of Manchester United, claims The Mirror.

United have reportedly emerged as a suitor for Van de Beek in January due to injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

But a transfer to Madrid at the end of the season "is more than 80 per cent certain", according to the report.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Metro says Premier League champions Manchester City have joined the race to sign Aston Villa's Jack Grealish. Rivals United have been heavily linked to the midfielder.

Tottenham are nearing a deal to bring Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes to London on an 18-month loan contract, reports Sky Sports. West Ham have also been looking to sign the 21-year-old.

- United midfielder Nemanja Matic is in talks to swap Old Trafford for MLS outfit Chicago Fire, according to The Sun. Linked to Atletico Madrid, Inter and Milan, the Fire want to bring in the veteran as a replacement for Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Arsenal are considering a loan deal for Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, reports The Mirror.

- La Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter have reached an agreement with Christian Eriksen for a contract until 2024. Now, Inter must strike a deal with Tottenham for the soon-to-be free agent. Spurs reportedly want €20million (£17m) for the Dane.

- Sporting CP captain Bruno Fernandes has agreed personal terms with United for a contract until 2025 with yearly wages of €6m, according to Italian journalist Nicolo Schira.

Pep Guardiola is heartened by the progress of Manchester City's youngsters this season but knows there is no guarantee of a golden generation, such as the one he oversaw at Barcelona a decade ago or Manchester United's 'Class of '92'.

England Under-21 midfielder Phil Foden has ticked past 50 career appearances for City and scored his 10th goal for the club in last weekend's 4-1 FA Cup win over Port Vale, when Taylor Harwood-Bellis was also on target for the first time in senior football.

Harwood-Bellis' fellow teenage centre-back Eric Garcia was accomplished as he started the recent home wins over Sheffield United and Everton as part of a back three, while Tommy Doyle – who counts City greats Glyn Pardoe and the late Mike Doyle as his grandfathers – made his full debut against Southampton in the EFL Cup in October.

Footage of Doyle and Harwood-Bellis celebrating City's 3-1 first-leg win over Manchester United in the semi-finals of that competition from the away end at Old Trafford went viral this week.

Guardiola saw and enjoyed the clip but was hesitant when asked to assess the chances of City's breakthrough stars becoming household names – citing the pressures they must navigate to establish themselves at an elite club.

"I don't know. I would like to answer and say 'yes' but I don't know. To figure out if young players will become incredibly top players for the future, I don’t know," he said, speaking ahead of Sunday's Premier League trip to Aston Villa.

"This is a club that is so demanding, you have to win games. Sometimes you win four titles and it's not enough

"Four titles last season is not enough; we didn’t win the Champions League. That is the reality.

"Sometimes they compete against incredible central defenders and, for Tommy Doyle, incredible midfielders.

"For Phil Foden, it is an incredible reality. He is an exceptional player and sometimes he doesn't play the minutes he should play because he competes with what happened at Old Trafford. All the midfield players played and they played incredibly well.

"I am a big, big fan who respects the process with the young guys. But we have a tendency in all the countries – here as well – that they make the two games and already they will be the new [Wayne] Rooney or the new George Best or will be the new David Beckham."

As Foden and his contemporaries continue the early steps of their journey at City, greats of the modern era they will hope to emulate are moving on.

David Silva will depart at the end of this season, while Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero's deals expire in June 2021.

Former captain Vincent Kompany bade an emotional farewell after completing last term's unprecedented domestic treble, following the exits of Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta 12 and 24 months earlier respectively.

"We cannot deny how important all these names you name have been for this club," Guardiola said, with Kompany set to be honoured at a Football Writers' Association tribute night in London on Sunday.

"Vinny is unique, Sergio will be unique, David – these type of players are incredible. I think the club, they have the duty and the obligation to find the best replacement for all of them, as quick as possible and anticipate it.

"We have to try and find them or build them from here – it is our obligation as a club."

As he negotiates this changing of the guard at the Etihad, Guardiola again reiterated his belief that Silva's replacement will be a young man built from within.

"David is going to leave this season and we are not going to buy any player in his position because we have Phil," he added.

"Maybe this season Phil will have more minutes, or maybe less. I don't know. We trust Phil.

"If we didn't believe in him we might go to the market to replace David, but we have Phil."

Liverpool broke yet more records in their latest Premier League triumph over Tottenham, achieving a benchmark that not even Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain or Bayern Munich have previously managed. 

Roberto Firmino scored the first-half winner as the unbeaten Reds recorded their 20th top-flight victory in 21 games to take their tally to 61 points this term.

In the three-points-for-a-win era, that is the biggest points haul any team in Europe's top five leagues has ever managed after 21 games.

The likes of Barcelona, PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich have enjoyed spells as all-conquering giants in their respective domestic leagues, yet none of those sides have been able to achieve such a total at the same stage.

In avoiding defeat, Klopp's side also extended their unbeaten Premier League run to 38 games, the equivalent of a full season.

They have accrued 104 points in that time, winning 33 times and drawing on five occasions, bettering the previous record totals Manchester City and Chelsea (both 102) managed across 38-match spells in 2017-18 and 2005 respectively.

Pep Guardiola rejected any suggestion it has been strange dealing with Leroy Sane amid an apparent desire to leave Manchester City.

Sane appeared likely to move to Bayern Munich in the previous transfer window, but the Germany forward suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in City's Community Shield clash with Liverpool in August.

He has yet to sign a new contract with City, with his current deal expiring at the end of next season.

Bayern will not attempt to lure Sane to the Allianz Arena this month, and Guardiola is adamant talk of a move for the 23-year-old has not put any strain on their relationship.

Asked if it had been awkward or strange since Sane's injury ended the prospect of a move to Bayern before the season, Guardiola replied: "Not at all, it's awkward because I cannot see him on the pitch.

"He's in the gym and making recovery, that is awkward for all of us. He's a nice person, I know him quite well. I was the guy who pushed the club and convinced him to come here when he didn't play in Schalke regularly.

"No doubts about him and his quality, each one has his own family, desires, dreams, about that I cannot do anything else."

Pressed on whether the situation had been upsetting for him personally, Guardiola replied: "Absolutely not, where you are now is not the same as three years ago.

"I'm not the same guy I was when I arrived here, so for the players the same, they have dreams and after the dreams are accomplished they need another thing so I don't know.

"Now what I want is for him to come back. I said last week his knee looks really good and after that it's not my business. In terms of what the club, the player, his agent want to do with his own future, it's not in my hands."

Guardiola has not spoken with the club over how they would potentially replace Sane, adding: "I didn't think about that.

"We spoke a little bit about what happened this season, what positions we have to reinforce for next season, but more than that it's honestly not my job. I don't have time to think about that, I'm so busy."

Pep Guardiola has been heartened to see Aymeric Laporte's return to full training but urged patience over the defender's first-team comeback. 

Manchester City have been without Laporte since August, when he suffered a knee injury against Brighton and Hove Albion.

The France centre-back, who joined from Athletic Bilbao in January 2018, required surgery but is coming to the end of his recovery. 

"He's training every day, he feels good after training and the day after he feels good, that is good news," Guardiola said ahead of City's trip to Aston Villa on Sunday. 

"I don't know when he'll be ready to play some games. He needs a little bit more time but he moves really well.

"The operation was good. We wait for the doctors to say he can start to play."

Guardiola, who allayed fears over an injury to Kevin De Bruyne following his substitution in the 3-1 EFL Cup semi-final first-leg win over Manchester United, is also eager to have Leroy Sane available again.

The Germany star was heavily linked with a move to Bayern Munich before he sustained his injury in the Community Shield against Liverpool, and rumours persist over his future.

However, Guardiola just wants him back in the team, along with Laporte.

"When we need to make movements in behind, Leroy is the best and of course Aymeric for being left footed, playing the left side and how good and how quick he settled in this league since he arrived," said Guardiola.

"Of course it's important for us, we will have to respect the process and when both will be ready, I will have to be thinking about to use them, we use them when I believe they must be used."

Tottenham appear close to landing a replacement for Harry Kane, while Thomas Lemar could also be set for the Premier League.

Kane needs surgery on his left hamstring and is not expected to return to training for Spurs until April.

It seems the Premier League club are nearing a move for Milan forward Krzysztof Piatek, although there are contrasting reports over the status of the deal.

And, Atletico Madrid midfielder Lemar could also be heading to London.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS CLOSE TO LANDING PIATEK AS KANE REPLACEMENT

Tottenham have agreed a deal worth £28million (€32.95m) for Piatek, according to The Sun.

However, the Mirror reports Spurs have had a loan bid for the 24-year-old Poland international rejected, although talks are continuing.

After netting 11 times in 21 games for Milan last season following a January move from Genoa, Piatek has four goals in 18 this campaign.

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea and Tottenham are both trying to sign Atletico's Lemar on loan until the end of the season, according to The Telegraph. Lemar is linked with an Atletico exit after just nine LaLiga starts this season.

- While Christian Eriksen's possible Spurs exit will dominate headlines this month, it appears the midfielder will not be heading to Old Trafford. Sky Sports reports Manchester United have ruled out making a bid for the Denmark international this month.

- Searching for a right-back, Tottenham are keen on signing Barcelona's Nelson Semedo, according to the Mirror. The position has been a problem for Spurs since Kieran Trippier's off-season move to Atletico.

- Javier Hernandez's stay at Sevilla could be coming to an end. Marca reports the club could let the forward, who has one goal in nine LaLiga games this season, leave amid apparent interest from LA Galaxy.

- Leicester City are trying to sign Juventus defender Merih Demiral, according to the Mirror. Manchester City and Everton are also reportedly interested in the Turkey international.

- Piatek aside, there may be other moves at Milan. La Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira says Roma are interested in Suso and Cengiz Under could be heading to San Siro, while Milan are still eyeing Inter's Matteo Politano.

- Could David Moyes and Marouane Fellaini reunite for a third time? Sky Sports reports Moyes' West Ham are interested in signing the Shandong Luneng midfielder, who played under the Scot at Everton and Manchester United.

Manchester City Women boss Nick Cushing will end his six-year reign next month to become assistant manager of New York City FC.

Cushing said it was "incredibly difficult" to reach the decision to leave, as he prepares to join the City Football Group's Major League Soccer outfit.

Appointed at the end of 2013, Cushing led City as they joined the Women's Super League, bolstered by new signings Steph Houghton, Karen Bardsley, Jill Scott and Toni Duggan.

Those England stars helped Cushing establish City as a major force when they were handed a place in a new-look WSL for the 2014 season, prominent among clubs spearheading the move to full-time professionalism.

City won the WSL title in 2016 and added FA Cup victories at Wembley in 2017 and 2019, also reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2017 and 2018, losing to Lyon both times.

Now 35, Cushing will become assistant to former Celtic manager Ronny Deila at MLS side New York City.

His last match with Manchester City Women will be the WSL home match against Arsenal on February 2.

Cushing said: "Making the decision to leave MCWFC has been incredibly difficult given the fantastic players and staff that we have here and the incredible success that we have achieved together - it isn't one that I have taken lightly.

"We've had an amazing six-and-a-half seasons and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with everybody – I will be extremely emotional to leave, but I'm very excited for my next role within the City Football Group.

"Linking up with New York City and Ronny (Deila) is a brilliant opportunity and I'm really looking forward to working in the MLS."

City said Cushing's assistant, Alan Mahon, would take charge of the women's team on an interim basis.

Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick has asked for January signings and the club are working to fulfil his request, but Hasan Salihamidzic confirmed Leroy Sane will not join this month.

Sporting director Salihamidzic addressed the media as Bayern take part in a mid-season training camp in Doha, Qatar.

He revealed Bayern are working with Flick, installed as coach at least until the end of the season following Niko Kovac's sacking in November, on moves for the present transfer window.

Salihamidzic had previously said of January: "I don't think much will happen."

However, at a news conference on Thursday, Salihamidzic told reporters: "Hansi Flick has assessed the current situation and has come to the conclusion that we need to strengthen. Hansi and I are in constant contact.

"We are considering every option, but it is difficult to strengthen our squad during the winter break."

However, Germany international Sane, long linked with a switch from Manchester City, will not be among any new recruits.

Salihamidzic did not deny Bayern would renew their interest at the end of the season but, with Sane still sidelined following a serious knee injury, a January deal was ruled out.

"It is not an issue for the winter [window]," he said.

Bayern have this month already agreed to sign Alexander Nubel, who will leave Schalke on a free transfer at the end of the season, seemingly putting star goalkeeper Manuel Neuer under pressure.

But Salihamidzic has assured there is an understanding with Nubel, 23, that Neuer will remain first choice for the start of the next campaign.

"Alexander Nubel will be a huge asset for FC Bayern," he said. "He is ambitious and a top character.

"Alexander knows that Manuel Neuer is our number one. He is looking forward to working with Manu."

Nicolas Pepe earned his first inclusion of the season in FIFA Ultimate Team's Team of the Week thanks to his eye-catching display against Manchester United.

The reported £72million signing from Lille endured a difficult first few months in an Arsenal jersey, struggling to recapture the form he showed in France over the previous two campaigns.

But in the 2-0 win over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men, Pepe opened the scoring and was a constant livewire, troubling United's backline with his trickery, movement and general unpredictability.

With some European leagues enjoying a mid-season break, the latest FUT selection is rather Premier League-dominated, with five players from the division in the starting XI, while there are another six England-based representatives among the substitutes and reserves.

Joining Pepe in the starting XI are the likes of Real Madrid's Raphael Varane, Alejandro Gomez of Atalanta and Lazio's Ciro Immobile.

Below, we take a look at the entire squad that is set to be available online.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

GK: Salvatore Sirigu (Torino) – 86

RB: Jesus Corona (Porto) – 84

CB: Domenico Criscito (Genoa) – 82

CB: Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) – 87

RM: Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal) – 85

CM: James Maddison (Leicester City) – 84

LM: Gerard Deulofeu (Watford) – 83

LW: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) – 84

CAM: Alejandro Gomez (Atalanta) – 87

ST: Ciro Immobile (Lazio) – 89

ST: Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) – 84

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Odisseas Vlachodimos (Benfica) – 83

CB: Mouctar Diakhaby (Valencia) – 81

CDM: Mark Noble (West Ham) – 81

CAM: Marko Livaja (AEK Athens) – 81

LW: Ricardo Horta (Sporting Braga) – 82

ST: Enes Unal (Real Valladolid) – 81

ST: Nicky Maynard (Mansfield Town) – 81

RESERVES

GK: Paul Farman (Stevenage) – 72

CM: Uros Racic (Famalicao) – 79

RM: Tyrese Campbell (Stoke City) – 75

ST: Nahki Wells (QPR) – 78

ST: Matt Godden (Coventry City) – 75

Fernandinho is close to signing a new deal with Manchester City, the 34-year-old has revealed.

The Brazil international, who joined the Premier League champions from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013, is out of contract at the end of this season.

City boss Pep Guardiola has spoken of his desire to keep Fernandinho at the Etihad Stadium and he appears set to get his way.

"When I renewed at the end of 2018, we put a clause that if I reached certain goals, my contract would be renewed automatically," the player told ESPN Brasil.

"Conversations have already started, we talked about it last month. I am close to reaching those goals and renewing the contract, but we can only confirm it after signing."

With City suffering injury problems in defence this season, Fernandinho has often operated at centre-back, which he has been happy to do.

"It's good as long as you can be at the highest level," he said. "Playing in a different position opens up the range of learning.

"In defence, I see the game in a different way. It has been very cool and the guidance I have received from Pep has been very good.

"At 34, playing in the Premier League is a source of pride. Many, many players wanted to be experiencing what I am experiencing."

Fernandinho played the full match in City's 3-1 EFL Cup semi-final first-leg win over rivals Manchester United on Tuesday and is likely to feature at Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday.

Marcus Rashford has called on Manchester United to draw inspiration from last year's stunning Champions League comeback in Paris as they look to pull off a similar revival against Manchester City.

United were outplayed in a 3-1 defeat to their bitter rivals in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg at Old Trafford on Tuesday, leaving them with a mountain to climb at City in three weeks' time.

There are parallels with the situation Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side found themselves in last March, when they headed to face Paris Saint-Germain in a last-16 tie after losing 2-0 on home soil.

On that night in the French capital, Rashford's last-gasp penalty secured a 3-1 win and sealed progress on away goals.

And Rashford, who wore the captain's armband and scored against Pep Guardiola's City, wants United to rediscover that magic when they travel to the Etihad Stadium.

"It is a different game with different players, but what we found in Paris we have to find that within us again," he told the club's official website.

"We have to go there, score goals and win the game. I think we are capable of doing it. But let's just focus on [Saturday's Premier League game against] Norwich for now and hopefully we can put this result behind us to bring the positivity back."

Rashford was proud to lead his team out for the first time and is closing on a landmark 200th United appearance, with only one more needed to get there, but the England forward is only concerned with results.

"It is obviously a nice feeling [to be captain], but at the end of the day it is the result that matters and we didn't manage to get the win," Rashford said.

"We will look ahead now to the next game, put this one behind us and go again.

"To be honest, the games have all come thick and fast. You don't notice the numbers going up so much.

"It is my 200th game and obviously it is going to be a good night for me. It is definitely a proud moment to play 200 games for this club.

"But if we don't get the three points then for me it doesn't mean a thing. We have to make sure that we win the game and put on a positive performance."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt Manchester United's first half against Manchester City in the EFL Cup on Tuesday was the worst they have played this season.

City dominated the first leg of the semi-final at Old Trafford, where Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez scored before Andreas Pereira's own goal.

Marcus Rashford struck in the second half for United, to give them a glimmer of hope heading to the Etihad Stadium on January 29 despite the 3-1 loss.

Solskjaer was unhappy with the way his side started, lamenting their first half – particularly after Silva's fine 17th-minute opener.

"From their goal until half-time it's the worst we've played," he told a news conference.

"Before then, it could've gone either way, a goal, but that doesn't matter now.

"We've just got to focus on Saturday, Norwich [City]. After that second half we've got something that we can believe in."

Solskjaer said his message to his players was clear after they trailed 3-0 at half-time and looked in danger of being thrashed.

"Pride is one word that you speak about at half-time," he said.

"Make sure you win the second half and you're in the tie and of course it's a difficult task that we've got in front of us.

"But that second half at least gave us something to hang onto."

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