Manchester City's Top Targets and How They'd Fit into Roberto Mancini's System

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJuly 17, 2012

Manchester City's Top Targets and How They'd Fit into Roberto Mancini's System

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    Roberto Mancini recently solidified his glorious career to date with Manchester City by signing a new five-year deal (via The Guardian)—a deal he thoroughly deserves.

    He's been about his business at the Etihad in the right way, selecting the right players at the right times and producing some marvellous tactical moments.

    This summer has been abnormally quiet for the Citizens, but that can really only mean one thingMancini wants quality, not quantity.

    The links to new players are ones that would genuinely improve the squad, so let's take a look at how, if recruited, they'd fit into their new manager's tactical system.

Daniele De Rossi

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    According to SkySports.com, Daniele De Rossi is again interesting Roberto Mancini's Manchester City.

    Despite signing a new five-year deal in February, AS Roma have fallen off the map. Some impressive performances at Euro 2012 have led to him regaining any admirers lost, so City could test the Italian club's resolve.

    De Rossi is perfect for City. He excels in a 4-2-3-1 as a holding midfielder or indeed as a solo holder, box-to-box or playmaking midfielder.

    At Euro 2012, he showed an ability to play in central defencean ability most did not know he possessed.

    Vincent Kompany was a surging central defender last season who was able to initiate attacks from the back. De Rossi is in this mould, meaning he could fulfil four or five roles in Mancini's team if asked.

    Objectively speaking, there aren't many better fits out there than De Rossi, City and Mancini.

Robin van Persie

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    This summers' least favourite transfer saga is still well and truly running, so the rumours swirling around Robin van Persie continue to suggest his arrival at Manchester City is imminent.

    According to the Daily Star, van Persie is currently house hunting in Cheshire in preparation for his move. Whether that's true or not, we're uncertain, but what we do know is City want him.

    The Dutchman is used to playing possession-based football with both Arsenal and Netherlands, so slotting into City's free-flowing formation will be easy.

    He's accustomed to playing as a lone striker, too, and his link-up play with Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy will already be spot on from their time in North London.

    City wouldn't have to adjust at all to accommodate van Persie in their lineup, which is probably why Roberto Mancini is gunning for him despite his price, age and wage demands.

Javi Martinez

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    Similar to Daniele De Rossi is Javi Martinez.

    The Athletic Bilbao midfielder showed his versatility and playmaking ability last season by utilising a central defensive role under Marcelo Bielsa last season.

    He acted as the team's main creative force, only from central defence rather than his usual anchor midfield role.

    He averaged a huge 5.2 interceptions per league game last season, showing his ability not only to create, but to step forward and intervene.

    His immediate versatility and comfortable presence in defence was jaw-dropping, proving what a brilliant player he is.

    Like De Rossi, Martinez would slot in with ease at either defensive midfield or central defence. His ability to move forward would be welcomed, while his solidarity would be applauded.

    He's been linked heavily for months, and despite his commitment to Bilbao, what City want, City get.

Edinson Cavani

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    Another long-term target for Manchester City is the man who had a direct hand in eliminating them from the UEFA Champions League last season—Edinson Cavani.

    According to the Daily Mail, City were closely monitoring the Uruguayan's availability should Napoli slip up in the race for Europe's elite competition next year.

    Well, they did. They finished fifth—and although just three points behind Udinese in third—now face a dismantling of their promising team.

    Cavani is a direct customer, so if City were to take him on, you should expect to see his teammates play him in the same way they do Sergio Aguero—a cute through-ball to run onto and score.

Notice Anything?

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    No one Manchester City are reportedly targeting require a change in philosophy, shape or tactics.

    With other clubs, you can clearly identify potential system changes by monitoring their summer acquisitions. An example of this is Manchester United, who have taken Shinji Kagawa in and may need to change to accommodate him.

    With City's top targets, it's clear to see they would all slot in nicely. No radical changes, no upheavals.

    It means Roberto Mancini is happy with his system and formation, so he's just looking to add quality and bolster his options.