Sergio Aguero’s decade of glory at Manchester City began with a bang on August 15, 2011, when he climbed off the bench against Swansea City.
Signed by Roberto Mancini for £35million just a couple of weeks earlier, Aguero was left out of the starting XI for the visit of the newly-promoted Swans as City started their season with a Monday night fixture at the Etihad.
But with the hosts holding a narrow 1-0 lead approaching the final half hour, the Argentine was thrown on for his debut in the 59th minute in a bid to seal three points. He didn’t disappoint.
Sergio Aguero celebrates after scoring the first of his 257 goals for Manchester City on his debut against Swansea on August 15, 2011
Aguero, pictured in action earlier this month, will leave City when his deal expires this summer
MANCHESTER CITY 4-0 SWANSEA, AUGUST 15, 2011
Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Johnson (Savic 74), Barry, Silva (Milner 82), De Jong (Aguero 59), Y Toure, Dzeko
Goals: Dzeko 57, Aguero 68 and 90+1, Silva 71
Swansea: Vorm, Williams, Caulker, Tate, Rangel, Britton (Allen 65), Sinclair, Dyer (Lita 81), Agustien, Graham, Dobbie (Routledge 65)
Less than 10 minutes after coming on, the former Atletico Madrid hitman found space inside the six-yard box to tap home a low cross from Micah Richards.
And after a goal from David Silva had put Mancini’s men 3-0 up in the 71st minute, Aguero gave City fans a glimpse of what they’d become accustomed to over the next 10 years with an incredible strike from 25 yards in added time.
Those were the first goals of Aguero’s record haul of 257 for City in all competitions, a tally he will be looking to add to before he leaves the club at the end of the season.
The 32-year-old, whose departure from the Etihad this summer was confirmed on Monday night, is the only player from that game against Swansea still playing City, almost 10 years on.
So, what happened to the stars who lined up alongside Aguero that night? Here, Sportsmail takes a closer look at the careers of Mancini’s side from 2011.
VIDEO CREDIT: MANCHESTER CITY/YOUTUBE AND SKY SPORTS
One of only three players who featured against Swansea who’s still playing in the Premier League, Hart became a hero at City after helping them win two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups.
The former England goalkeeper found himself out of favour following Pep Guardiola’s arrival as manager in 2016, however, and was soon shipped out on loan to Torino and West Ham.
Hart left the Etihad permanently in 2018 and joined Burnley, but has never quite been able to replicate the form which saw him cement himself as No 1 for both his country and the champions.
He now finds himself playing backup to Hugo Lloris at Tottenham after joining Jose Mourinho’s men on a free transfer last summer.
Former Manchester City No 1 Joe Hart now finds himself trying to break into the Spurs team
After coming through City’s ranks and bursting onto the scene as a teenager in 2005, Richards enjoyed one of his best seasons at the club as they won their first title in 2011-12.
However, injury problems and increased competition resulted in him barely playing between 2012 and 2014, and he spent the 2014-15 campaign on loan at Fiorentina.
A permanent move to Aston Villa followed, but after a promising first season, injuries and issues with the club’s management meant he made just three more appearances over the next three seasons.
He announced his retirement from playing at the age of just 31 after his release from Villa in 2019 and has since gone on to become one of the UK’s leading pundits, regularly appearing on Sky Sports and the BBC, as well as writing a column for Sportsmail.
Micah Richards, pictured in action against Swansea (L), is now a successful football pundit (R)
A bona fide City legend just like Aguero, Kompany made his own emotional exit from the Etihad almost two years ago, having spent 11 seasons in Manchester.
Although he battled injuries throughout his time at City, the Belgian defender became an inspirational captain and lifted 10 major trophies during a period of unprecedented success.
Kompany decided to return to his home country in 2019, becoming player-manager of his boyhood club Anderlecht.
A nightmare first season saw him step down from his managerial duties to focus on playing, but after hanging up his boots last summer, Kompany is now in the dugout as boss full-time as he looks to carve out a successful career in coaching.
Vincent Kompany left City in the summer of 2019 and is now the manager of Anderlecht (right)
Kompany’s defensive partner against Swansea – and for much of the next couple of seasons – was Lescott, one of the first big money signings of City’s Abu Dhabi era.
The former Everton and Wolves centre back left the club in 2014 after picking up his second Premier League title, returning to the Midlands to join West Brom.
Short stints at Aston Villa, AEK Athens in Greece and Sunderland followed before he retired in 2017, although Spanish side Racing Murcia bizarrely announced that he had signed for them in November of last year.
Lescott had been in talks over appearing for Racing in a Copa del Rey game, but remains yet to make an appearance. He currently works as City’s loans manager, dealing with younger players who have been sent on temporary deals, and as TV pundit.
Joleon Lescott now works for City as their loans manager and he’s also a regular TV pundit
Like Aguero, Clichy also joined City in the summer of 2011 and went on to make over 200 appearances for the club over the next six seasons.
The French defender left for Turkey in 2017, joining Istanbul Basaksehir on a free transfer. He helped them win the title in 2019-20 but departed soon afterwards when his contract came to an end.
After four months without a club, Clichy, who recently took part in the Europa League quarter-final draw, joined Swiss outfit Servette on an 18-month deal last December. He has made just two appearances for them so far.
Gael Clichy, pictured during this month’s Europa League draw, is now playing in Switzerland
Johnson’s second and final season at City would prove to be the 2011-12 campaign, after which he joined his hometown club Sunderland in a £10m deal.
The former England winger immediately became a regular fixture in the side, and was named Premier League Player of the Month in January, 2014.
However, Johnson’s career took a much darker turn a year later when he was arrested on suspicion of having sexual activity with an underage girl – a Black Cats fan who he had been communicating with on social media.
In March 2016, he was sentenced to six years in prison for grooming and sexual activity with a 15-year-old. He was released in April 2019 after serving half of his sentence.
Adam Johnson, pictured in action against Swansea and arriving at court in Bradford in 2016, is now out of prison after serving a sentence for grooming and sexual activity with a 15-year-old
Barry played a pivotal role as City won the title in Aguero’s first season and he remained a regular in midfield for the next two seasons before being allowed to join Everton on loan.
After helping Roberto Martinez’s side to a fifth place finish in 2013-14, the former England man made a permanent move to Goodison Park and spent three more seasons on Merseyside before leaving for West Brom.
Barry was unable to prevent the Baggies from being relegated in 2017-18, but stuck around for a season in the Championship before released – and then re-signed after recovering from injury.
He helped Slaven Bilic’s side win promotion last season before hanging up his boots at the age of 39, and is now mixing punditry work with some well-earned time off.
Gareth Barry retired from playing at the end of last season after a stint with West Brom (right)
Like Aguero and Kompany, Silva will be honoured with a statue outside the Etihad after helping the club grow into the dominant Premier League force they now are.
The Spaniard arrived at the Etihad a year earlier than the Argentine but had a similarly important impact, transforming City’s style and winning 11 major trophies.
Silva brought the curtain down on a decade at the club last summer, returning to Spain to sign for Real Sociedad despite interest from all over Europe.
Now 35, Silva is still doing the business at the top level and has impressed for the LaLiga side this term, helping them mount a challenge for a Champions League spot.
David Silva is still going strong at Real Sociedad (right) almost a decade after Aguero’s debut
NIGEL DE JONG
The hardman of City’s midfield under Mancini, De Jong became a fans’ favourite during his three years at the Etihad between 2009 and 2012.
The Dutchman departed for AC Milan in 2012 and spent four years at the San Siro before a brief spell in America with LA Galaxy and two seasons in Turkey with Galatasaray.
Having made his name at Hamburg before joining City, De Jong returned to Germany to join Mainz in 2018 but soon left for a new life in the Middle East.
The 36-year-old, who often tweets about City’s matches, spent a season with Qatari side Al Ahli before joining rivals Al-Shahania in 2019, which is where he plays to this day.
Nigel de Jong has played in Italy, the US, Turkey, Germany and Qatar (right) since leaving City
The exodus of City’s modern legends began in 2018, when Toure – another player synonymous with the club’s rise – was let go after eight years.
Having helped City win six trophies during his time at the Etihad, the former Barcelona star opted for a warmer climate and agreed to return to his former club Olympiacos.
It turned out to be a nightmare move and Toure’s contract was mutually terminated in December 2018 after just five appearances amid issues with manager Pedro Martins.
In July 2019, the veteran midfielder joined Chinese side Qingdao Huanghai and went on to make 14 appearances before leaving the club in January of last year.
He raised eyebrows by training with League Two outfit Leyton Orient to stay fit last summer but did not sign a contract, instead choosing to begin his coaching career by joining Ukrainian side Olimpik Donetsk as assistant manager last month.
Yaya Toure, pictured in the game with Swansea (L), is now assistant at Olimpik Donetsk (R)
Signed seven months before Aguero’s arrival, Dzeko always found himself a little in the Argentine’s shadow during his five years as a City player.
Nevertheless, the big striker was instrumental as Mancini’s men won the title in 2011-12 – scoring in the final game of the season against QPR – and he left the Etihad with four trophies under his belt.
Dzeko joined Roma on loan in 2015 and was signed permanently a year later, going on to establish himself as one of the top forwards in Italy.
Now 35, he is still playing regularly for the Serie A side and boasts an impressive record of 116 goals in 249 appearances.
Edin Dzeko is still banging in the goals for Roma at the age of 35 after leaving City back in 2016
Milner replaced Silva with less than 10 minutes to go against Swansea, his first of 26 Premier League appearances during City’s title-winning campaign.
The versatile midfielder would go on to spend three more seasons at the Etihad, winning two more trophies, before joining Liverpool on a free transfer in 2015.
He helped the Reds end their long wait for the title last season and also has a Champions League trophy, the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup on his CV.
The 35-year-old is under contract until 2022 and is still playing regularly for Jurgen Klopp, having made 29 appearances so far this term.
James Milner is one of only three players from City’s squad still playing in the Premier League
Signed just weeks before Aguero, Savic never found his feet at City and left just a year later after 21 appearances during his one and only season at the Etihad.
The Montenegro defender, who now has 56 caps for his country, joined Fiorentina and impressed over three years in Italy, earning a £9m move to Atletico Madrid in 2015.
He has been with the Spanish giants ever since, helping them reach the Champions League final in 2016 and win the Europa League in 2018.
Stefan Savic struggled at City (left) but has been a regular for Atletico Madrid since 2015