Sometimes, the best ideas are just under your nose, but you never think of them. Sometimes, talking to an ex-player and also former director of a football club gives you an idea or two, like the suggestion that getting Robin van Persie might be accomplished, for Manchester City, by using Carlos Tevez as a trading chip.
But in Dennis Tueart opinion, a former England international and Manchester City player during two separate tenures (1974-1978 & 1979-1983), Manchester City don’t really need Van Persie, and Roberto Mancini should look to strengthen other positions before he adds more strikers.
The Manchester City forward roster is led by Sergio Aguero, who scored 23 goals in 34 matches last season; Mario Balotelli, with 13 goals last season, and the rest – Edin Dzeko, who was pretty productive when he played but City wouldn’t mind offloading him for the right price; Emmanuel Adebayor, who still hasn’t completed his transfer to Tottenham, if he ever will; Roque Santa Cruz, who nobody wants and probably peaked as a footballer five years ago; Carlos Tevez, who wants to leave and City want him to leave but nobody finds the right formula and 20 year old Swede John Guidetti, who had a brilliant season for Feyenoord last season, scoring 20 goals.
Aguero and Balotelli are the two players Mancini wants for next season, while Guidetti seems like also someone to watch for the future? The rest? He’d love to get rid of them and their ridiculous high wages if the right buyer came along. Up to this point, no one has, and Mancini seems to be shackled by his board into selling at least one of his strikers before he signs another one.
As Tueart suggested, the answer to Manchester City’s hopes of a title next season don’t involve another striker, or at least not as an immediate need. Going after Daniel Agger, a rare case of a very good left-footed centre back, is the right direction. City have had at least two bids for the Dane rejected by Liverpool, the highest of them going to £16 million. A third one is probably going to be coming soon, before Barcelona and Real Madrid also make a swoop for the player who has told his manager he’s looking to leave.
Daniele De Rossi, Roma’s & Italy’s central midfielder, who had a very impressive Euro 2012 tournament, is also someone Mancini should pursue according to Tueart, although City have kept the relationship with the player merely an interest and observation from afar kind.
In any case, Tueart isn’t sure Van Persie is the right kind of striker for Manchester City – I felt that City’s big problem was that last season they didn’t have two strikers who could be a pairing. Instead, they were all single front-men. Aguero was a fantastic acquisition, one of the best players in the Premier League, and if you do bring in Van Persie, then for me Tevez would be the one to go – and because of his personality, you might always end up with trouble with him.
But I am not sure Van Persie would resolve the pairing issue, and at the age of 29 [sic] and for his games per season ratio – which is poor, apart from last season – I am not sure he represents value for money. I think Arsene Wenger won’t be unhappy if he keeps Van Persie, and the Arsenal system suits him.