Some things just don't work out. Often, no one is to blame, but it’s better for all concerned to accept it and move on.
The situation with Manchester City and Jack Rodwell is one such occasion. The young midfielder, who joined from Everton two years ago, has had a tough time with injuries and has failed to establish himself in the first team. He needs to move on to resurrect his career elsewhere.
Rodwell is clearly a very talented player. He can operate as a deep-lying defensive midfielder or, as Roberto Mancini was an advocate of, in a more advanced role in which he is expected to support the forwards. He’s an excellent passer with a good engine—all the tools necessary to be a top-level midfielder.
He can also operate at centre-half, a versatility that makes him valuable in any squad, particularly one like City’s, which looks likely to be limited by “home-grown” quota restrictions this season.
However, muscular problems have restricted his appearances at City to just 26, and he will now surely be looking to move elsewhere in order to get his career back on track. He’s gone from one of the most talented young English players in the league and the subject of large bids from Manchester United to a forgotten man languishing in City’s reserves.
The arrival of Fernando from Porto has only served to push Rodwell further down the pecking order, with the Brazilian expected to rotate with Fernandinho and Yaya Toure in City’s midfield. If Rodwell felt his path was somewhat blocked last season, he must now feel like it’s been removed altogether.
There will be no shortage of takers if, as expected, he’s made available by the club during the current transfer window. Graeme Bailey writing for Sky Sports suggests a host of Premier League clubs, as well as La Liga and Serie A sides, would form a queue to sign Rodwell either on loan or on a permanent deal.
No formal offers have yet been made, with the player currently undergoing pre-season training with the rest of the squad. However, Bailey expects bids to start being lodged soon. If the level of interest in Rodwell is as Bailey purports, City will be in a strong position to recoup a decent portion of the £12 million they paid Everton for his signature in 2012.
And with City facing UEFA FFP sanctions that restrict their net spend this summer to £49 million, any money they can bring in through player sales is welcome. With Eliaquim Mangala expected to sign for around £32 million (via BBC Sport) and with Willy Caballero and Fernando already signed for significant fees, some money from the sale of Rodwell would aid their ability to make further additions.
It’s Rodwell, though, who would benefit most from a transfer away from the Etihad. He is a talented player who needs games to fulfill his obvious potential. He’s unlikely to get them at City and needs to move on.
Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2014-15 season. Follow him on Twitter here: @RobPollard_.