Manchester City: 5 Best Players for City This Season
Suddenly, Manchester City are right back in it.
The title race was opened up after Everton fought back to claim a thrilling 4-4 draw at Manchester United’s Old Trafford on Sunday, and it goes to a whole new climax as United face up to City next Monday with the prospect of falling behind the Citizens once again.
As we look towards the most important Manchester derby in the history of the Mancunian rivalry, let’s look back at City’s most important players this season.
Here are the five best City players since August last year.
5. Micah Richards
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It’s hard to believe that Micah Richards made his Manchester City debut back in 2005.
The then-17-year-old went on to win the club’s Young Player of the Year award for the 2005-2006 season, and his impressive, precocious performances led him to become England’s youngest-ever defender in 2006.
Then his form dipped and questions were asked of his ability to fulfill his undoubted potential. Would the City academy graduate even be moved on to greener pastures?
Ricards’ response to such accusations has been an empathic “no.”
His barnstorming displays at right-back this season have forced him back into England reckoning and back to the lofty status he once had as one of England’s brightest young talents.
He’s part of a sturdy rearguard that has conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League this season, and his attacking prowess on the right flank has been the bane of many a Premier League defence.
Oh, and he’s still only 23.
4. Vincent Kompany
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Another mainstay in the best defence in the league is captain Vincent Kompany.
Since joining the club in 2008, Kompany has established himself as one of the best defenders in Europe.
His performances last season earned him a place in the 2010-2011 Premier League Team of the Year, and he was also voted as the Manchester City Official Supporters’ Player of the Year and the Manchester City Players’ Player of the Year.
So winning the captain’s armband for the 2011-2012 season really came as no surprise.
In fact, it was richly deserved, as he continues to lead his team and marshal his defence with the authority, composure and classiness that has come to be associated with Vincent Kompany.
To think he cost only £6 million.
3. Yaya Toure
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When Yaya Toure signed for Manchester City in 2010, eyebrows were raised at his hefty wage package.
He simply got down to business on the field.
Ten goals in just 60 league appearances later, Toure has not only notched a strike-rate that is the envy of many a Premier League midfielder, but he has displayed the energy, stamina and vision that has made him one of Europe’s top players.
His place in the 2011-2012 Premier League Team of the Year is a testament to this.
Toure’s absence in January for the African Cup of Nations left a big void in City’s star-studded midfield, and might have been a key reason behind City’s less-than-impressive run of form in recent months.
But he could still have a big say in the title race yet.
2. David Silva
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Only a couple of months ago, David Silva was nailed on to be Robin van Persie’s main rival for the Player of the Year award, such was the former’s impact on this season’s Premier League.
His form might have dipped around the turn of the year, but Silva still holds a club- and league-high assist count and has also chipped in with six goals.
Now undoubtedly one of the brightest stars of the Premier League, Silva possesses the vision, flair and dribbling to unlock even the sternest defences—and his star was at his brightest during the 6-1 demolition of rivals Manchester United.
United have bounced back in the title race, all right.
But they’ll have to deal with David Silva first.
1. Sergio Aguero
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Let’s just get this out of the way: Sergio Aguero should have won the Premier League Young Player of the Year award. By a landslide.
In an ever-changing City strikeforce, Aguero has remained the constant, and for good reason: He’s capable of working seamlessly with all of them.
Twenty-two goals and seven assists is more than enough evidence.
He could equal or exceed Fernando Torres’ record of most goals scored in a Premier League debut season by a foreign player against United.
If that adds a Premier League title to his list of debut-season achievements, then he will have written his name into City history.
If you liked this article, you might also be interested in 10 Bold Predictions for City Next Season. Please also check out my writer’s profile, where you can find more of my work, and my blog, The Red Armchair, for Liverpool match reactions and opinions.