Montenegro striker Stevan Jovetic has caught the eye of many of Europe’s top clubs in the past few years after impressing for Fiorentina in the Serie A. Clubs such as Arsenal, Juventus, and Real Madrid have all been linked with the 23-year-old in the past couple of years. Finally, the saga over which one of the big clubs will secure his signature is complete, after the striker completed a move to Manchester City for a fee of just over £20m.
Jovetic becomes City’s fourth big signing of the summer, after deals for Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo (both from Sevilla) as well as Fernandinho (formerly of Shakhtar Donetsk) went through earlier in the window. A new striker is something that has been highlighted as an important target for City ever since the sale of Mario Balotelli to AC Milan in January. Then, the need intensified earlier this summer as Carlos Tevez ended his controversial spell at the Etihad by sealing a move to Juventus for around £10m.
All manner of names were linked with a possible transfer to the Blues after those deals, from Wayne Rooney to Fred, from Pablo Osvaldo to Oscar Cardozo. However, despite the quality that those players possess, the names that stood out to me were the ones belonging to Negredo and Jovetic, who have both become the two latest players to sign at Manchester City. Personally, I’m very pleased that City have secured the signing of Jovetic. Not only am I glad that it means we’ve replaced Tevez and Balotelli properly, but I also believe Jovetic is a very good player and has proved himself worthy of this chance in one of the world’s best squads. Hopefully, it will give him the drive to improve as a player and reach his maximum potential, and if it does, City will have acquired a very useful asset at an early age.
Although his stats in Serie A last season (scoring 13 in 31 games in the league) may not look much to the untrained eye, they are in actuality very impressive. The Montenegrin has said before his preferred role is not really as the main out-and-out striker, but more as a striker that supplies goals for his partners upfront. This means that a goal record of a goal just under every three games is impressive for a striker of that sort. I believe his best role would to play just behind the main striker so that he can link between the midfielders and the main man upfront, and also chip in with a goal when necessary. I can also see this happening under Pellegrini, with David Silva playing out on the left-wing, as he has done on occasion in the past.
At points this summer, it did look like City wouldn’t be signing Jovetic at all, with Real Madrid and Juventus both being heavily linked. As we know, it is very difficult to turn those clubs down, being very big in their home countries and worldwide. However, Juventus signing Tevez left them with the Argentine, Fernando Llorente, and Mirko Vucinic upfront, almost ensuring there would be little effort to bring Jovetic in too, as that would just hot up the competition in what is already a very formidable attack at I Bianconeri. There was talk he was set for a move to the Santiago Bernabeu a few weeks ago, with some sources even claiming he had agreed terms with Real, but those rumors looked to have been false, and he’s now signed on to an exciting project at City instead.
It’s a satisfying feeling to have finally nabbed Jovetic after chasing him for so long, as Manchester City were linked with him on many occasions when Roberto Mancini was still the manager, even though City still had the quartet of Aguero, Tevez, Dzeko, and Balotelli at the time. Speculation which was heavy at times died down a lot after Aguero became a record signing for the club from Atletico Madrid in 2011, and then the rest is history. However, it picked back up again in recent weeks after the sale of Tevez, and came to a conclusion this week.
Whilst some are touting Jovetic to be a failure at City, I’m certainly not going with this tide. Generally, people wouldn’t think he would be, although people are starting to gain a dislike for City. A history of failed transfers in the last few years has caused some to go against big names such as this signing for the Blues. However, these thoughts have little foundation to them, and are based on history of other players and not reading too much into the player in question. I think Jovetic will play a big part for City this season, and it’s looking like a promising campaign is on the cards for the Blues after some impressive summer transfers already.
The one concern I do have surrounding this transfer is the effect it will have on young Swedish striker John Guidetti, who looked set to be given his big chance this season before the arrivals of Negredo and Jovetic. I voiced these concerns when Negredo was announced too, as I, like many other Blues, are eager to see Guidetti in action after a torrid time over the last year or so, following on from a dazzling performance with Feyenoord in the 2011-12 season. He looks to be fifth-choice at the Etihad now though, and a loan spell could be on the cards in order for him to gain Premier League experience before being given his chance here at City. However, having had several loan spells away from Manchester already in his career, it remains to be seen whether he will be happy to have another.
You’re never too sure when a new signing comes in just how successful they’ll be at your club; you always have to see them in action a few times first before making a judgement. That’s how I’m feeling about Jovetic at the moment; I’m nervous because the transfer may not come off for City, and we’ll have wasted a large sum of money on the player, but I am very happy he’s here and not at Stamford Bridge or The Emirates, where he was both linked to before putting pen-to-paper up north instead. I have a sneaky feeling my nervous thoughts will be proved wrong, but they will linger until I’ve seen him in action a few times at the start of an exciting season for Manchester City.