Accepted wisdom tells us that best time to build for the future is in the middle of a period of success, to strike while the iron is hot. The team recently won the first piece of silverware of the season as well as being right in the race for the Premier League and the FA Cup, and are still not out of the Champion’s League despite an unedifying two nil loss to Barcelona at the Etihad. With that in mind it is a good time to take a step back and a look at what the coming years might hold for City.
The team which got us here is solid at the back, terrifying in midfield, and often jaw dropping up front, but will this gang be together 3 years from now? No! Absolutely not. From the obvious, through the sadly necessary, to the gut wrenchingly awful, here is a (not definitive) list of players who will need replacing in the coming years…
Fan favourite Martin Demichelis has done as good a job as you could expect this year. The 33 year old was signed by Pellegrini as an experienced back up to a set of centre backs who were either injury prone or still learning the ropes. Instead, the 33 year old has found himself thrust into the first team due to a revolving and recurring injury list where he has filled in as best he is able while adapting to a new league.
He commits awful errors that make City fans want to cry on a semi regular basis and is a convenient outlet for people who never learnt how to effectively channel anger, but he will still be a loss to the squad when he inevitably retires or moves on. Between him and Joleon Lescott there are likely to be two centre back berths up for grabs at the end of this season. Thankfully, City appear to have options in this area – Karim Rekik on loan in Holland who recently made his debut for the national team and the continuing education of Matija Nastasic – so there should not be too much to worry about.
Dzeko often makes us at Typical City want to tear our hair out with frustration so it is with no great sadness to us that the Bosnian will most likely be lost to us in the Summer for significantly less than what the club paid for him. Nearing the end of a contract naturally reduces value, but the £15 million fee being bandied around in the papers is a massive depreciation. That this loss comes despite scoring many goals and winning three trophies testifies to how bad Dzeko has been this season.
His close control is expansive, often sending the ball up to five metres away from his foot. His shooting prowess is hugely over-exaggerated with the vast majority of his efforts flying high and wide – or against his own leg from two yards out as occurred recently. His hold up play has been poor all year and he can often be seen gifting the ball to defenders when almost anything else would have been a better option.
His time at City is up. Thanks for all the goals (though they are rarely decisive/point winning,) and I hope you have a lovely time somewhere else, but we need to replace you with a truly top class striker.
Now we begin to reach the players who it will be devastating to lose. Yaya Toure has been such an integral part of everything good that has happened to the club in the last few years that imagining City 2.0 without him in the centre is almost impossible.
He was the transfer that really put us into the big time. It is easy to forget how huge a Champion’s League winner in the prime of his career coming to City was at the time. Toure is a serial winner and brought that mentality with him to Manchester where he has won every domestic cup available.
He has absolutely everything that a player needs to be at the top of the modern game; speed, power, a full range of passing, vision,and he scores goals. Oh the goals he has scored. Toure is the definition of a Big Game Player, regularly raising his game when the team need him most. There is an argument to say that without Toure’s goals City would not have won any of the domestic trophies. The 2011 FA Cup which he basically won on his own. The 2012 title run in where he destroyed Newcastle to give the team real belief that they could catch United. Last weekend’s League Cup Final when the team were in danger of writing a new chapter in the “typical City” annals until he stepped up with a frankly outrageous goal.
The unfortunate reality is that in three years time Toure will be almost 34 and likely unable to lead the team in the manner he has been for the past 3 seasons. The time will come when Yaya is not an automatic pick and finding someone to fill that gap week in, week out will be a real challenge. The search has to start ASAP.
You knew this was coming.
This could quite easily just be a dozen pictures of Sergio with a sad face emoticon underneath and the point would be made: We will most likely not be able to keep him.
If he fires us to the domestic treble this year and has a good World Cup then the massive greedy babies at Real Madrid will want him even more than they already do. Their transfer policy seems to be based on some sort of footballing tourettes where they see someone they want and just say his name over and over again until they get their way. The fact that he was a paid up fully certified Barcelona killer whilst in Spain will just increase the Castillian longing for our Sergio.
Expect an extended press campaign aimed at turning his head.
He is truly world class and will only improve. if someone comes steaming in with £100million then the club will sell him. It is that simple.
Aguero is a unique talent which is impossible to adequately replace. It will break our hearts, but it will happen eventually. Soz.
Written by Alex Timperley who is on Twitter