After a difficult few months blighted by injuries, Stevan Jovetic has made two substitute appearances in the last week for Manchester City. The appetite of their supporters, many of whom had grown frustrated by his continued injury woes, has been whetted. If he can now begin to play consistently, he could be like a new signing for the Blues.
The player himself is certainly confident in his ability to win over the City faithful after a stop-start beginning to his time in Manchester. In the aftermath of the Watford game at the weekend, he told Ian Whittell of the Telegraph that he wants to concentrate on imposing himself on the City side, and that he feels sure the fans will "love" him.
I had one problem, and then another, but that is the past and I don’t want to think about the past. I just want to look forward, and hope we will win a lot of games until the end.
I had a calf injury at first, then at Leicester [in December] I was in the squad and supposed to play, and I ate something. I had a temperature and was vomiting. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me, but I just had to stay calm because there was nothing I could do. But I know my value and that the fans will love me.
Rarely has a player arrived at a club and faced such an unsettling run of setbacks. His two goals in the Capital One Cup match with Wigan back in September looked to be the start of a good run in the side, but things went swiftly downhill until his recent exciting cameos.
Manuel Pellegrini was suitably impressed with his showing against Watford. The man who brought Jovetic to the club has been frustrated at his lack of games, but is now relishing the prospect of having him available in the coming months.
Jovetic's versatility makes him an attractive player for a manager, and Pellegrini believes he can operate in a wide position or as a central striker.
I am very pleased.
I thought the 30-35 minutes he played he did very well. Jovetic is a mix. He’s a midfielder and he played a lot of games for Fiorentina behind the striker or on the left wing. He can replace Samir Nasri or Agüero and that is very important for the team.
It provides City with a boost at just the right time. With the club retaining an interest in four competitions but unlikely to bring any big-name players in during this transfer window, Jovetic's emergence could be the perfect fillip, particularly given Samir Nasri's injury situation.
He looked excellent against Watford, always looking to drop deep and play between the lines, and capable of turning and running at the defence with pace. He is intelligent and technically gifted—exactly the type of player who could excel in this current City team.
January is a time to bring in new players to provide fresh impetus, but it seems City may already have one within.
Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @TypicalCity.