Manchester City have been in the market for a new striker, being linked with all manner of names from Edinson Cavani to Pablo Osvaldo for a while now, ever since Argentine Carlos Tevez departed for Juventus last month. After a few weeks of searching, it looks like the Blues have finally closed the search for a new striker, with Alvaro Negredo (from Sevilla) becoming the third signing of the summer for a deal of around £20m.
This deal has received much praise and criticism from fans of football around the world. Whilst some believe that City have got a great deal for the 27-year-old, others believe they have overpaid for a striker unproven in the Premier League, and that he is unworthy of the price that the Blues have paid for him. Whilst that is true, we can’t forget about the huge number of unproven players who’ve come to this league and performed very well; I see no reason why this shouldn’t apply for Negredo too.
The reason many people are positive about Negredo coming into this league and doing well for City is his stats for previous club Sevilla. He joined them in 2009 from Almeria and went on to make 139 league appearances in the four seasons, scoring 70 goals, which is over a goal every other game. This is a very impressive feat, and there are few strikers that City could have bought with a similar record.
Negredo also seems pleased that he has been given the chance to prove himself outside Spain for the first time in his career, and he seems determined to prove himself to all his doubters. This is very good, as it means he won’t give up and he’ll keep going until he’s proved himself here and beyond. We’ve seen before now that players haven’t had this mentality when they’ve moved here, and not succeeded in this league, because they’ve not had the drive to get back up from things that knock them down, recover, and improve as a player as a result of it.
I’m not going to lie; I was a bit skeptical about this transfer when I first heard about it being in the early stages. I hadn’t seen a huge amount of him beforehand, with the little I had being in Euro 2012, in which he wasn’t particularly impressive, and as such I wasn’t too happy when we originally got linked with him. However, looking at the stats now, especially from last season in which he was the top-scoring Spaniard in La Liga (25 goals and 32 in all competitions), Negredo seems to be the perfect fit for Manchester City. As we know, the stats convey quality, so it’s looking very positive for the Blues.
One thing I’m unsure about is quite where Negredo will fit in in the City side this season. I have a feeling he may have been brought in to replace Dzeko, who will drop to the bench once again under Pellegrini. Negredo is a similar player to the Bosnian, and could link up better with Jesus Navas (who also moved to City from Sevilla this summer) than Dzeko would, making a better partnership and having a better effect as City look to win the Barclays Premier League title back this season.
With Stevan Jovetic also having now joined City too, it raises the question what this season will bring for John Guidetti, Manchester City’s young Swedish striker who’s had a nightmare year due to injury. Many were predicting him to have a good season this time round after the departures of Tevez and Balotelli, and many were also hoping he’d get that deserved chance too.
However, with the captures of Negredo and Jovetic, that is starting to look a lot less likely now, and I think a loan spell is on the cards now for the Swede, probably in the Premier League in order to have experience here before City’s management give him his chance. However, he might not be happy with this after already having a fair few loan spells in his career, and may feel it’s time to move on from the Etihad to a team where he is first-choice and probably happier.
It is already starting to turn into a very good summer for City, vastly improved on last year, in which transfers on the whole were poor, with the best ones being players who will only be able to make a league-winning impression in a few seasons (other than Matija Nastasic). Basically we messed around too much with contracts and fees and missed out on the key signings of the summers in Eden Hazard and Robin Van Persie. Whilst Hazard may not have had a huge impact in his first season in this league, Van Persie certainly did, guiding Manchester United to their 20th Premier League title.
In comparison, City’s transfers have been much better this season, conducting business early in order to get the players they want into the squad and settled ahead of the new season, contrasting to last year when all transfers where made in the late part of the window, allowing them time to settle. They have all been high-quality this summer, with Jesus Navas and Fernandinho being two that were brought in a few weeks ago, and now Negredo and Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina being the most recent ones. They all look like good signings for City in what is a much-improved summer ahead of a promising season.
You never know with transfers whether they will turn out to be successful or not, especially in a position in a squad that already holds a lot of quality. You always wonder whether they’ll prove their worth and play a lot, hopefully lifting some silverware with your team, and for me, Negredo is no different. I am slightly nervous about whether he’ll prove to be a success in the blue shirt, and whilst I am fairly confident. Although there is still that uncertainty that will linger for a few months, until we know how Pellegrini plans to play him in, this City side are looking to be on track in regaining the title.