Premier League fans, regardless of their allegiance, will remember the moment Sergio Aguero's name was screamed to the rafters by Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler.
The Argentinian's 2011-12 title-winning goal was a classic moment in English football history. Maybe you cried blue tears of joy, bled a bloody red pain or silently gawped at the ensuing madness. Whatever your reaction, Aguero confirmed himself as the true star of Roberto Mancini's Manchester City era.
Few would bet against the 25-year-old becoming Manuel Pellegrini's most important player. In this time of major change for the club, many fans might be wondering where the next defence-splitting match winner is going to come from. Who will be the next to emblazon their name in our minds with one overexcited commentator's shriek?
Pellegrini has worked quickly to bring in new targets. Unlike City's quiet neighbours over at Old Trafford, the summer transfer window has seen nearly £100 million worth of players arrive at the Etihad. The likes of Fernandinho, Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic have accepted a Sky Blue future that is likely to be laden with success.
At this early stage, one of the new recruits looks as if he has what it takes to become a City legend. Alongside the incoming Chilean manager—who has spent nine years working in La Liga—it's a sign of the times that the squad's next superstar is Spanish. One Jesus Navas, the longtime bomber of Sevilla's right flank, will act as the catalyst for a new City era.
Navas' Premier League presence is as predictable as it is exciting. The English game continues to call on La Liga for inspiration, with plenty of Spanish stars now representing British teams. Individuals such as Juan Mata, Santi Cazorla, David De Gea and Michu have become popular names across the island and are revered for a classy style of play that is perhaps lacking in British teams.
As reported by David McDonnell of the Mirror, Pellegrini promises attractive football throughout his tenure.
Michael Laudrup's decision to build his team around Michu has already paid dividends for Swansea, allowing the Welsh side to combine intricate passing football with a sturdy target man. While Navas won't be such a central figure in terms of structure, his place within the City side is a sure sign of tactical change.
Although James Milner does an excellent job trotting up and down the wing, Navas offers an electric alternative. His game isn't as well-rounded as the former Leeds player, but his unstoppable pace and ability to put the opposing defence on the back foot will be vitally important across the next few years. The English game is no longer defined by physicality, ensuring Navas' extra zip is City's first step of playing the Pellegrini way.
Fans got a glimpse of such a transformation in the recent 5-3 Audi Cup win over Milan. A ridiculous first half saw City score five goals before conceding three. Navas linked brilliantly with Micah Richards down the right, providing too much firepower for Milan to handle.
Short passes between the pair continued to pull the defence out of place. Navas darted towards the centre, jinked to the byline and delivered crosses with precision. His assist for Edin Dzeko's first goal was a thoughtful cross that invited the Bosnian striker to slot home City's third of the game.
Expect plenty more of that.
As a snippet of Navas' quality, the 27-year-old managed to sum up his main attributes in a 45 minute stint that should have City fans extremely excited. In the same way Aguero did things differently when he arrived, Navas is already showing his qualities are unique to Pellegrini's squad.
Most tellingly, he has settled from the off. Unlike Negredo and Jovetic, who are currently a yard short of City's play, Navas looks as if he has been firing balls towards the Etihad box for years. He is assured, confident and unfazed by the task of winning his first domestic championship—exactly the type of player Manchester City need at this time of flux.
Early signs look promising for City and Navas. With Pellegrini heading into his first season as boss, there will undoubtedly be a number of stylistic changes that might flummox fans at first. With a little patience, and a lot of speed, a new saviour by the name of Jesus will be born.
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