The Sergio Aguero conspiracy: fact or fiction?

As with every PFA Team of the Year announcement, it was the names who weren’t on the list that caused the most talk.

This time around it’s the absence of Tottenham Hotspur defence Toby Alderweireld that is the hot topic. The Belgian has been excellent for Mauricio Pochettino’s side but has inexplicably missed out to Chelsea’s Gary Cahill.

Similarly, the absences of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexis Sanchez and Hugo Lloris are debatable – mostly it’s a matter of personal preference.

One man who wasn’t on the list this year was Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, continuing his absence from the team since arriving in England.

The Argentine hitman, who has 119 league goals in six seasons in England and is one of the most feared strikers in Europe, has never featured in a PFA Team of the Year. How is that possible?

Most of it appears to be down to sheer bad luck. This season he has missed out in favour of the top two scorers in the league, Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku.

Last year Kane and Jamie Vardy beat him to a spot. Other players to get in ahead of him include Diego Costa, Luis Suarez, Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge.

Nobody would deny Suarez his place in both 2013 and 2014, and van Persie earned his spot in 2013 by effectively winning the league title for Manchester United.

The only questionable decision is Daniel Sturridge, yet that season the Englishman managed 22 league goals, five more than Aguero.

It appears that every season Aguero has missed out; he has simply done so to players who have performed better than he has.

See also: David de Gea doesn’t deserve to be in the Team of the Year

The timing of the nominations may also be another unfortunate circumstance working against him given they’re sent out in the middle of the campaign.

That means that players often pick those who are in form at that moment in time, rather than those who are having an all-round impressive campaign.

It was something that cost Aguero back in 2015 when a knee injury in December saw his form tail off drastically. At the time of the voting, he managed just three goals in 11 games and subsequently missed out. It’s not a coincidence.

There could also be a sinister side to it all; perhaps Aguero’s fellow professionals just don’t like him. David Luiz certainly doesn’t. That, though, is hard to imagine.

Diego Costa has been in the team before and so has Luis Suarez. Both of those players have more chequered pasts than the Argentine.

In truth, it’s not really a mystery that Aguero continually misses out. In every season he’s been a result of other players outperforming him and his own form tailing off. Not entirely conspiracy central.

Luckily he can take his two Premier League winners medals as consolation. That’s something that Sturridge, Suarez, Kane & Lukaku haven’t got.

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