Friday, July 29, 2011

Sergio Aguero

Europe's biggest transfer of the Summer finally happened when Sergio Aguero completed his much anticipated move from Atletico Madrid to Manchester City. It is a fascinating transfer that could turn out to be a multi edged sword for the ambitious side from Eastlands.

On the face of it, 38M for one of the most coveted attacking talents in world football looks good value. Aguero has had several solid seasons in Europe behind him in La Liga unlike the fabulously gifted Neymar and is a player who can either lead the line or play as a second striker. He is young at 23 with his best years surely ahead of him and with an undoubted re-sale value which would please Sir Alex across the city.

For City, it is also a minor landmark. Too often they have paid large or inflated fees and ludicrous wages for players that other clubs had no interest in, Ya Ya Toure is a case in point although he did have a decent season. Edin Dzeko was a player who interested some but not many were truly concerned when City signed him. Aguero is a different prospect all together, he is of the highest quality and City have managed to attract a player that many top clubs genuinely coveted.

It is a bit of a myth that disgruntled players such as Bellamy and Adebayor will derail City's season as the reality is that those players will not be allowed within a thousand miles of the first team squad and the disruption will be limited to twitter and misquoted newspaper reports from their home countries (the Welsh press are famous for it). That being said, where the problem lies for City is in the existing strikeforce that they carry and how Aguero will fit in.

The 25 players that City will register for the Premiership will no doubt include Aguero, Tevez, Dzeko and Balotelli unless of course the senior Argentine does indeed move on. City's hardball stance on his fee however and a lack of obvious suitors for such a nomadic and troubled player mean he may well be staying at Eastlands at least contractually if not physically.

Having just signed Aguero in such a high profile manner, it would seem logical that he would be the first choice striker, Tevez however remains the City captain and if he returns to the fold he will undoubtedly expect to play, Mancini may however use his agitation for a move as a reason to drop him initially. Balotelli will not take kindly to warming the bench and not playing Dzeko will do little to help a player that looked entirely lost and bereft of all confidence last season.

There is no question that Aguero is a fine signing but Mancini has given himself an impossible problem that would only have been solved by the sale of Tevez. Mancini is an inherently cautious coach and frequently plays with only one up top supported by the likes of the excellent David Silva, that system offers little playing time for four quality strikers who all expect to play. They will of course have the Champions League to offer some rotation but it is hard to see how four in to one will go.

Previous transfer windows saw farcical attempts from City to sign the likes of Kaka with Garry Cook showing a staggering naivety and lack of experience. With the signing of Aguero, City have indeed broken into the big leagues in terms of the calibre of player they can attract but in doing so they may well have given themselves a headache that could stop them from winning the championship - No Nonsense.