The transfer window has, thankfully, closed again for a while and we can now all get on with our lives and try to simply enjoy the football. City strengthened early and well, buttressing key positions where the team had previously been lacking. The team is stronger than the one which won the league last year and there should be no repeat of our disastrous attempt to defend our title in 2012/13.
So why, despite this, am I left feeling a bit bereft?
The obvious place to start is with Alvaro Negredo leaving. Yes, Negredo has had a 2014 he’ll be eager to forget – long term injury following a period in which he couldn’t score to save his life – but his early season partnership with Aguero was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen and contributed heavily to the title win.
If reports of his family’s homesickness are true then I can’t begrudge him leaving. At the end of the day, football is only a game and playing it is a job. Why does anyone work if not to provide a happy life for their family? The details are nothing to do with us. Hopefully the life in Valencia is good to them and Negredo is a success. His goodbye note to the fans is a heartwarming read.
The obligatory purchase clause in his contract will kick in next summer and Negredo will become the most expensive player bought from City in the club’s history. A fitting footnote for a man who helped propel the team towards a title.
However, Negredo’s departure leaves City with only three recognised strikers. This is a problem. So much of City’s play is based around a rotating cast of options who can rotate in and out that the loss of any of them is a significant blow.
Speaking of strikers, John Guidetti’s proposed loan move to Celtic fell through at the last minute, leaving the Swede in a kind of limbo at the club (though Celtic are trying to sort it still). Is he the fourth striker now? Will he ever play if he stays? Much is made of the goals scored for Feyenoord in 2011, but that was a long time ago and a long injury lay off followed. We can’t rely on him at this moment in time.
Emyr Huws has also moved on, signing a permanent deal with Wigan. The central midfielder is highly rated and has always looked good when given a chance, whether that was with City or on loan. Pellegrini deserves our trust in his judgement, and it would have been an impossible task breaking into the current City midfield, but getting rid of Huws seems to be a bit previous. Could he not have just stayed on loan for the season?
Finally, we come to Micah Richards.
Richards is a fan favourite and deservedly so. It feels like he has been with us forever, experiencing the highs and many lows of the last decade alongside us.
This is the right move for both the player and the club, but it is still a bit heart breaking to see him go. And he is definitely gone. Officially he is on loan to Fiorentina for a season only, but in reality we won’t see him in City blue again.
Symbolically, Richards is a bridge to the past. He came through the youth system, captained the club and played for England. We can be very proud of him, knowing what he has achieved and that he will always be one of us.
However the thing about him being a bridge from the past is that this is a bridge we have already crossed. We’ve moved on and the club is in a new era, intent on building new bridges to ever better new heights in the future.
In conclusion, yes, the transfer window was good. City are in profit. The team has been strengthened. However the anticipate quiet deadline day did not materialise and I am left with a slight sense of unease which is proving difficult to shake off. Players we love and promising youngsters have departed and City are short up front. The proof of the pudding is in the making and, hopefully, the people in charge will show once again why we trust them over the upcoming months even though this transfer deadline day doesn’t quite feel like a victory at the moment.
Written by Alex Timperley who is on Twitter