Grading Manchester City's Summer Transfer Signings so Far
Last season, the summer transfer window seemed to pass Manchester City by—a string of high-profile players had been linked with the club yet not one of them arrived.
The Citizens welcomed Jack Rodwell, Javi Garcia, Maicon and Scott Sinclair into the fold, among others, but they were hardly the big names befitting a side with such wealth and the title of Premier League champions.
City’s failure to capture their transfer targets is arguably what led to them finishing the season 11 points behind rivals Manchester United.
This summer, they have acted quickly.
But who are the new players and what will they bring to the team? Read on to see how I'd rate the new arrivals at the Etihad.
Position: Defensive Midfielder
Transfer fee: £30 million
Manchester City had earmarked Fernandinho as one of their main transfer targets and quickly negotiated a deal to bring him to the club in early June.
The Brazilian joins City after spending eight years playing in the Ukrainian Premier Liga with Shakhtar Donetsk.
He made 281 appearances for the side, scoring 52 times and registering 51 assists, winning six titles and the 2008-09 UEFA Cup along the way.
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Fernandinho has a lot to offer in midfield and should become a natural choice to partner Yaya Toure in the center of the park.
Compared regularly to compatriot and Chelsea man Ramires, Fernandinho is good defensively—a box-to-box midfielder, strong and self-assured and a calm presence who can receive and distribute the ball well in tight situations.
Fernandinho will have a huge impact on the team if he can deputize with defensive duties—granting Toure the freedom to maraud up the pitch and attack.
The 28-year-old is also an asset going forward—he’s a high-energy player with a good eye for goal, quick, makes defence-splitting passes and likes to run at the opposition.
His performance for Shakhtar against Chelsea in last season’s Champions League demonstrated his effectiveness in front of goal.
While pricey, Fernandinho looks like he’ll be a valuable addition to the City squad. At 28, he’s unlikely to fetch a high sell-on fee when his time in Manchester comes to an end. However, his inclusion could see Pellegrini’s side mounting a serious challenge for the Premier League title.
Position: Attacking Midfielder (Right)
Transfer fee: £15 million
Jesus Navas signed for Manchester City earlier this month, bringing the club’s summer spending so far to £45 million.
The 27-year-old has played for Sevilla all of his life, making 375 appearances for the first team where he has won two UEFA cups, two Copa del Reys and the UEFA Supercup.
Navas is a real winger and will bring width and acceleration to the City attack, something the side lacked last season under Roberto Mancini.
He has been capped by Spain 26 times, winning the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 European Championship. This week it was a penalty from Navas that sent the side into the final of the Confederations Cup, where they will face Brazil on June 30.
For a player who is known to suffer from anxiety and homesickness, it cannot be underestimated that Navas will have fellow Spaniards in the squad.
Manuel Pellegrini’s appointment as manager will also be key as Navas adapts to life in Manchester and the Premier League. Pellegrini told the Manchester City website:
Jesus is a player I know well from La Liga and he is someone I have admired for a long time.
He is quick, has excellent technique and I think the City fans will enjoy watching him play. He will provide a variety of attacking options for us and he can also score goals as well as create them for others. He is an excellent signing for the club.
£15 million is relatively cheap for a Spain international who looks set to give Man City much-needed wide options in attack. Whether he can settle in Manchester remains to be seen but he certainly looks like a great investment.
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