Manchester City Transfers: Rating Manuel Pellegrini's New Signings
Ever since 2008, the words "Manchester City" and "profligacy" have gone hand in hand.
Sheikh Mansour and his investment vehicle Abu Dhabi United Group have, as of 2012, ploughed £1 billion into the club since seizing ownership of the Citizens from UK Sports Investments Ltd, led by former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
And the decadence has shown no signs of abating since, with new manager Manuel Pellegrini spending nearly £90 million on new recruits this summer as he attempts to overhaul the squad he inherited from Roberto Mancini.
The Chilean forked out over £50 million on Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho and Sevilla's Jesus Navas, (according to the Telegraph), while a further £39 million was spent on the combined captures of strikers Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic, according to a report in The Sun.
These purchases, it is hoped, will help the Sky Blues improve next season upon what was a relatively disappointing 2012/13 campaign.
Last season, City lost their Premier League title by a margin of 11 points, exited the Champions League Group Stages with the lowest ever points tally accrued by an English team and then lost the FA Cup Final to Wigan Athletic.
That all coincided with the sacking of Mancini, and Pellegrini must be under no allusions that he will not suffer a similar fate if his new recruits fail to help him improve upon these failures come next May.
With his job potentially hanging on the line, has the former Malaga man made the right decisions in this summer's transfer market so far?
Here, B/R analyses Pellegrini's purchases and runs the rule over each of the four new City stars.
Almost immediately, eyebrows were raised over the size of the fee, taking into account both the player's age and form last season.
At 28, Fernandinho is approaching the winter of his career, and the midfielder only scored twice in 23 appearances last season.
The Brazilian is a box-to-box style player who can contribute to the attack as well as play in a defensive role, making him quite similar to Yaya Toure in those regards, but he didn't contribute enough going forward last season.
He was overlooked by Luiz Felipe Scolari and did not feature in the squad that contested, and won, last month's Confederations Cup.
Fernandinho has also only been capped by his country at senior level five times and has yet to score, which all leaves you questioning why City considered him a £30 million-rated player.
Time will tell if the South American lives up to his huge price tag next season. Perhaps we'll be proven wrong, but at this stage, this purchase seems like a dubious one.
Following the sale of Carlos Tevez to Italian champions Juventus last month coupled with Mario Balotelli's departure to Milan in January, Pellegrini simply had to buy at least one new striker this summer to help ease the goal-scoring burdens of last season's joint-top scorer Sergio Aguero.
Heavyweights such as Neymar and Radamel Falcao were thought to be on the deposed Premier League champion's radar this summer, but both opted to ply their trades elsewhere, at Barcelona and Monaco, respectively.
This left City having to look elsewhere for forwards, and so they opted for Jovetic. But how good of a player is he?
At just 23, the Montenegrin has seen steady improvement over the last couple of seasons.
It took him until his fourth year at Fiorentina to really establish himself, having managed just eight Serie A goals in his first two seasons following his switch from Partizan in 2008.
The forward then suffered knee ligament damage that ruled him out for the entirety of the 2010/11 campaign.
Jovetic came back with a point to prove following a frustrating year on the sidelines, however, and netted 14 times in 27 Serie A appearances in 2011/12, which remains his most prolific campaign to date in the goal-scoring department.
Though he only managed a return of 13 goals in 31 appearances last term, City did see enough potential to sanction a move for the youngster, who has 10 international goals for Montenegro to his name.
If he can stay free of injury and improve on his goal ratio, Jovetic could prove to be a great signing, but it remains to be seen if he will make an immediate impact at the Etihad.
Perhaps one of the reasons why City failed to retain their Premier League title last season was down to their lack of width.
James Milner and David Silva were the club's only widemen, with Samir Nasri taking up an attacking midfield role and Scott Sinclair barely factoring into Roberto Mancini's plans.
However, Pellegrini has already given the squad more options on the flanks for next season with the £14.9 million capture of Sevilla's Jesus Navas.
Known for his blistering pace, the Spain international will give Premier League defenders cause for concern when the campaign gets back underway come August.
Navas played an important role in Spain's Confederations Cup run, scoring the decisive penalty against Italy as La Furia Roja progressed to the final after a dramatic shootout.
Though Navas has very little else to prove on the pitch, it is his off-the-field problems that could yet prove to upset his stay in Manchester.
Navas has also suffered from panic attacks while spending extended periods away from home, and it remains to be seen if he can settle down in England.
Though he is undoubtedly a terrific player, it is these problems that could yet undermine his move to the Etihad.
Of City's four summer signings, Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo is the most eye-catching one.
The Spain international enjoyed a marvellous 2012/13 season, and his 25 La Liga strikes made him Spain's fourth-highest goalscorer, behind only Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Radamel Falcao in the charts.
Negredo was also the highest-scoring Spaniard in La Liga last term, though he could not help his club finish any higher than ninth in the table.
Surely, however, loftier league standings and silverware await the 27-year-old, who is a World Cup and European Championship winner.
Negredo outscored City's highest goal-scorers Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez last season. He will be a perfect replacement for the latter, and a terrific partner for the former.
What do you make of City's new summer signings? Let us know in the comment section, below.
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