Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughHave Manchester City got it right this time? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Have Manchester City got it right this time? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Have Manchester City got it right this time?

It is fair to say that despite the pots of cash at their disposal Manchester City have not exactly spent the money particularly well – with last summer’s well documented failures being the most notable example of this. The criticisms have often revolved around transfer moves being ill thought out, with many of the players brought in failing to improve the squad.

This time round they have flexed their financial muscle yet further – backing new manager Manuel Pellegrini by already having racked up spends of nearly £100 million. Here we assess whether City have learnt from their past errors and have signed players who will actually strengthen their areas of weakness.


It is hard to argue that in paying £28 million for a 28-year-old non Brazilian international City have not been on the rough end of a deal. Nevertheless, the midfielder is an undoubted talent having for years excelled at Shakhtar Donetsk both domestically and more impressively in Europe, whilst it should also be noted that there is a view that the Brazilian national selectors don’t look to fondly on Eastern European leagues. Further to this City were always going to have to pay over the odds if they wanted the Brazilian given the financial strength of Donetsk.

Last season City were often judged as being to one paced and lacking in creativity – two problems which Fernandinho should certainly help with, given the pace, agility, guile and ability to make things happen that he brings to the table. His skills should also compliment probable midfield partner Yaya Toure to a tea and if the Brazilian can produce the same sort of form he showed in The Ukraine, City could end up with one of if not the strongest central midfield pairing around.

Jesus Navas

Width has been a huge problem for Manchester City over a number of years now, whether that was a result of Roberto Mancini’s lack of ability to realise this or the clubs inability to bring in the right players we will never know. Nevertheless, in signing Jesus Navas City have captured a genuine wide player of real quality – provided that he can adapt to Premier league life, one who should make real improvements to the squad. The Spaniard possesses undisputed talent and ability, however there are significant doubts over whether he will be able to adapt to English life – he has on occasions suffered badly with home sickness.

This move represents a huge step for Navas given that for all of his playing career he has played with Sevilla. The fact that he will be one of four Spaniards in the first time squad should help, whilst at 27 the time might just be right for him to make the move. There is also concerns over his recent form and consistency – last year in La Liga he failed to score a goal and contributed just six assists, compared to 14 assists and five goals in the previous campaign. This lack of form meant City were given little serious competition for his signature, however if they can get him playing to his potential then Navas is a player who could certainly give them an extra dimension that they have been craving for so long.

Alvaro Negredo

Making Navas feel more at home at the Ethiad will be ex Sevilla team mate Alvaro Negredo, who has taken over the number nine shirt from the departing Carlos Tevez. Despite the luxurious resources City’s strikers struggled last term with Edin Dzeko’s 14 league strikes the best any could muster – a decent return but only enough to see the Bosnian ranked equal eleventh overall. Negredo certainly comes with the pedigree to provide the firepower City have been missing, with his 25 league strikes last term only bettered by Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Radamel Falcao – not exactly bad company.

That season was hardly a flash in the pan either given that in 2011/12 he scored 14 goals despite missing a quarter of the season, and the year before his contribution was 20 league strikes – overall Negredo impressively averages just over a goal every two games. These returns are made all the more encouraging when you consider these games have come playing for Sevilla rather than say a Barcelona or Real Madrid.

It is hard to make an argument against this signing if you look at the stats – that said it remains to be seen how well he adapts to the very different conditions of Premier League life and further to that the pressure of playing for a club who view themselves as one of Europe’s best.

Stevan Jovetic

Further bolstering the forward stock is Montenegro international Stevan Jovetic, a player who has been chased by a host of clubs throughout the summer if reports are to be believed. At just 23 City will be getting a player whose best years are very much ahead of him.

There are however question marks about his goal scoring potential, given that in both his past two Serie A seasons he has failed to score over 14 goals – hardly the returns to suggest he will prove to be the 20 plus goal a season striker City are after. It is worth noting though that in recent years Serie A has not been the most highest scoring of competitions, for example last season only two players scored over 16 goals, further to this there will be many who suggest Jovetic brings more to the table than goals.  

This signing could also lead to difficult selection headaches and man management problems for Pellegrini, given that he already has on the books Sergio Aguero, Negredo and Dzeko to keep happy – although rumours are rife that the latter is likely to be moved on during the window.