10 Players Who Should Leave Manchester City This Summer
After their disastrous defeat to rivals Manchester United last weekend, Manchester City are now looking forward to finishing this season by just securing a Champions League place. Undoubtedly, the Citizens will need to do better next season by replacing some of their players in the next transfer window.
Some players are already looking like they are heading for the exit, such as Yaya Toure, who could be leaving for Inter Milan in the summer. Meanwhile, other players may not want to leave, but unfortunately they have shown that they are not good enough for the Premier League (e.g. Eliaquim Mangala).
This ranked, 10-player list will explain why each player should leave, what they bring to the team (if anything) and how easy it would be for them to leave Manchester. The list will be ranked accordingly to these standards.
10. Edin Dzeko (Striker)
Edin Dzeko has had a nightmarishly bad season for Manchester City. He has not been a constant starter for the club and has only four goals in 21 Premier League appearances this season.
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty made an excellent point that he scored 16, 14 and 14 goals in the last three seasons, respectively, therefore it is not surprising that certain fans of the club want Dzeko to leave.
The biggest problem for Dzeko is that he has only managed 11 starts in the Premier League, and only in one of those starts he has played a full 90 minutes. Needless to say, it is no wonder Dzeko is not scoring as consistently as he once did for the team.
Another big reason why Dzeko should leave in the summer is the competition that surrounds his position. Typically, Man City play with one striker and either a supporting striker/attacking midfielder just behind the frontman. With Sergio Aguero and Wilfried Bony in the team, there is some congestion for that position.
Only his previously exhibited talent and the fact that Bony has yet to impress could save him from being sold on in the summer.
9. Gael Clichy (Left-Back)
Left-back is arguably Manchester City’s worst position, with both Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov rotating into the starting XI.
As seen in the 4-2 demolition by Manchester United last week, the left side of the pitch looked incredibly weak for City. In fact, the Express' James Dickenson claimed in his player ratings following the match that Clichy “had a tough time against United's attack.”
However, getting rid of two left-backs in one transfer window is highly unlikely, and Clichy can still show some pace at the position, unlike Kolarov.
Furthermore, Clichy has a positive attitude, which will help mould any young left-back—West Ham United’s Aaron Cresswell could be joining in the summer, as speculated by the Manchester Evening News' Samuel Luckhurst.
8. Fernando (Defensive/Centre Midfielder)
Last summer, Manchester City looked to improve the defensive midfield position, and that resulted in the £12 million acquisition of Porto’s Fernando.
McNulty’s comments were right. What does he offer? He doesn’t get forward as much as City want him to and he doesn’t exactly contribute to any attacking move like the typical modern defensive midfielder (think Michael Carrick).
However, he likes to do the “ugly work” and is unafraid of getting involved in tough physical challenges—just watch his performance against West Bromwich Albion in March.
Fernando’s “injuries” may prompt Pellegrini or a new manager to give him a second chance, since it is unlikely anybody will pay the £12 million City did last summer in any potential transfer.
7. Samir Nasri (Attacking Midfielder)
Samir Nasri is arguably the most frustrating player to watch on the Manchester City team. His ability to cut defences apart with his remarkable eye for key passes and his underrated pace is often marred by his lack of discipline and concentration.
There is also an interesting statistical link which shows how effective and ineffective he can be for Man City. In the seasons his team won the Premier League, he contributed a combined goals and assists total of 14 (2011/12) and 16 (2013/14). In the seasons they failed to capture England’s biggest trophy, those same figures are at nine (2012/13) and eight (the current season total, as of April 18).
His sale would likely depend on two factors. Firstly, whether they could find a club that is willing to pay his high wages, and secondly, it would depend if a new manager would like to keep him.
6. Jesus Navas (Winger)
For a supposedly tremendous attacking talent, Jesus Navas has been far from threatening in front of goal. The Spanish winger has not scored all season, and including his 2012/13 campaign for Sevilla, Navas has not scored in two out of the last three seasons (league statistics only).
Navas does offer electrifying pace when bolting down the wing, and he does create some goalscoring opportunities for his team-mates. Yet, Navas turns 30 next season, and he will not be able to rely on his speed forever.
His lack of goals are made up for by the fact he has contributed seven assists in the Premier League this season, but fellow midfield talents Samir Nasri, David Silva and James Milner have contributed more in terms of combined goals and assists.
Navas has to go purely on the basis that he is unproductive for City.
5. Aleksandar Kolarov (Left-Back)
Serbian left-back Kolarov is a great set-piece specialist, but what does he offer that Clichy does not? Nothing. He has always been slower than his French team-mate, they are both equally as good as getting forward and his attitude is not as positive as Clichy's.
This is why he has become accustomed to the bench this season. His 15 appearances in the Premier League are eight less than Clichy’s, and he has one less assist and one less goal than the former Arsenal full-back.
It would be no surprise if Manchester City are looking for a new left-back, and if Clichy does not leave Manchester as a result, then it will definitely be Kolarov.
4. Bacary Sagna (Right-Back)
This was one of the weirdest signings of last summer. Manchester City acquired the services of one of the best full-backs in the Premier League from Arsenal. According to the Mirror’s John Cross, Bacary Sagna joined Man City on a free for a deal worth £150,000 per week.
Therefore, it has to be asked if Sagna was worth the money. The answer is a resounding no. Man City’s trouble with UEFA’s financial fair play has meant they need to keep more home-grown players at the club, not throwing stupendous amounts of cash at a player who has contributed nothing in his sixteen appearances.
They could have kept Micah Richards as a backup to Pablo Zabaleta, which would have been beneficial for not just the home-grown rule, but also for UEFA’s anti-competitive FFP rules. Instead, City will need to find a club dumb enough to take on Sagna and his ridiculous wages.
3. Yaya Toure (Centre Midfielder)
Last season, Yaya Toure was quite simply the best midfielder in the Premier League after scoring an extraordinary 20 goals in Manchester City’s successful bid to win the league title.
This season, Toure has scored only eight. A slight disappointment, but it is still a decent amount of goals from the Ivorian midfielder—his goal tally is still better than his first three seasons at the club.
However, there are two things that are letting his performance down. Firstly, Toure has been unable to create chances for his fellow team-mates; one assist in the Premier League should be classified as dismal for a man of his talents.
Secondly, his ability to track back, drop deep and actually defend has been seen as a constant liability, always leaving players like Fernandinho and Fernando to do the ugly work instead—Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail is one such critic.
There has been increasing speculation that Toure will be leaving for Inter Milan in the summer. The Italian club have made no secret of their ambition, and according to Sky Sports, their sporting director Piero Ausilio told Sky Italia they were hopeful of landing their dream target.
It is hard to see Toure staying at the club after such a massive dip in form this season.
2. Stevan Jovetic (Striker)
Talented Montenegrin Stevan Jovetic has been robbed of opportunities by his fellow team-mates and by injury too. Jovetic has even found the back of the net five times in the league—that is the same as the amount of goals Edin Dzeko and Wilfried Bony have scored combined.
Phil McNulty wrote that he has a better “goal involvement rate” than any other player in his team except for Sergio Aguero and Frank Lampard. The fact that his registration as a UEFA Champions League player was removed by City is just tragic.
Sky Sport Italia (h/t ESPN FC’s Ben Gladwell) has reported that Inter Milan are interested in making a move for Jovetic in the summer. Even if Inter are unsuccessful at signing Jovetic, there is no chance that the Montenegrin international will stay in Manchester.
1. Eliaquim Mangala (Centre-Back)
Eliaquim Mangala can only be described as one of the worst, if not the worst, signing under Sheikh Mansour’s ownership of Manchester City. The team got rid of Matija Nastasic last summer (he signed for Schalke on a permanent basis in March), because they believed that the £42 million-rated Mangala would be the perfect partner for Vincent Kompany. They thought wrong.
Mangala can only be described as a poor decision-maker and a rash tackler, whose only positive attribute is the fact that he looks like a physical presence at the back. He looked good initially after his debut against Chelsea last September, but he admitted to the Guardian’s Jamie Jackson that English football has taken him by surprise and that he is inconsistent.
Mangala could need some more time to get accustomed to Premier League football—just look at Martin Demichelis. However, many City fans and pundits have seen enough from Mangala to note that this was a costly mistake by all parties involved in the transfer (other than FC Porto) and that it would be advisable to shift Mangala at any expense necessary.
City then should seek to buy a centre-back with a proven track record for once instead of young centre-backs that will never meet the high expectations of a club seeking silverware every single season.
All statistics are from transfermarkt.co.uk unless stated otherwise.
Broderick Sutherland is a B/R Contributor. Follow on him twitter—@BrodSutherland