Manchester City: Why Roberto Mancini Needs to Let Adam Johnson Go This Summer

Ieuan BeynonCorrespondent IIIMay 17, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21:  Adam Johnson of Manchester City celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Stoke City at the Etihad Stadium on December 21, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Gareth Copley/Getty Images

With a Premier League medal draped around his neck, the time has come for Adam Johnson to look for pastures news.

Yesterday, he was left out of Roy Hodgson’s England squad for this summer’s tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

For a player of Johnson’s ability, this is a bitter blow.

Signed from Middlesbrough in the January of 2010 transfer window, the 24-year-old initially was a success in the Manchester City side.

But as the quality of signings within Roberto Mancini’s side increased, the number of games started by Johnson decreased.

And this is a problem for a player of Johnson’s age and quality; he needs to be playing at this stage in his career.

He may not be quite at the level that this Manchester City team are, but he is a very good player and should be playing in the higher echelons of the Premier League.

If Johnson had regular football, there is no doubt in my mind that he would be taking part in the European Championships this summer.

Instead, he will watch the games from home, looking at the likes of Stewart Downing and Theo Walcott knowing that he would be a better option than either.

VILLARREAL, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 02:  Adam Johnson of Manchester City looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Villarreal CF and Manchester City FC at El Madrigal on November 2, 2011 in Villarreal, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos A
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Add to the equation what looks like the imminent arrival of Lille’s Eden Hazard, and playing time may lessen even further if he decided to stay at City next season.

Seeking a move to a club like Liverpool, Everton or even going back up north to Newcastle would be an ideal choice for the talented winger.

His dribbling and his ability to cut in from the right-hand side make him a tricky customer for any defender in the Premier League and, with more games and more experience, Adam Johnson will only improve.

But I think his time at Manchester City may have come to an end, for the better of his development and his international career.

So for now it is arrivederci, Johno, and thanks for the memories.