As much as Alvaro Negredo needs and probably deserves a move away from Sevilla, it is strange to see him linked with one of the vacant striker roles at Manchester City.
The striker owes it to himself to move on from the damaging atmosphere inside the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. For yet another season, Sevilla have once again been the architects of their own downfall in failing to land Champions League football. Where once the club were lauded for their ability to turn bargain signings, unknown South Americans and youth team graduates into sustained success across numerous trophy fronts, the Andalusians have tumbled out of the top four in La Liga and appear to be quite a distance from regaining their previous footing.
Negredo and Roberto Soldado were two of the big names outside of the top two in Spain who have been linked with transfers away this summer; both, as usual, battling for supremacy over one another. The final showdown came in the final game of last season, as Sevilla beat Valencia 4-3 with Negredo scoring four (Soldado scored two). It was an excellent display of Negredo’s quality in front of goal, but it also allowed for the Spaniard’s name to become even more prominent in the striker merry-go-round discussion. Negredo had now outdone his adversary at the Mestalla and finished the season as the highest scoring Spaniard in the league.
A move to England always made sense for Negredo. He’s powerful, strong in the air, finished with 31 goals last season, and is currently walking that line between very good and world class. The thing is, he isn’t world class just yet, and at 27-years-old, that timeframe for him to make the leap is diminishing.
Manuel Pellegrini is known to make the best of those who have seemingly fallen by the wayside. The Chilean allowed Martin Demichelis to rediscover his form and become an integral part of Malaga’s squad last season, while the turnaround of Borja Valero remains one of Pellegrini’s best stories following the midfielder’s forgettable spell in English football. For that, the new Manchester City manager may have another opportunity to further enhance his managerial credentials if the club do follow through on their interest in Negredo. The question is whether Negredo would totally appease City considering their immense spending power.
Negredo himself would cost anyone somewhere in the region of £25 million, or so that’s what President Jose Maria del Nido states. That kind of price tag on most players would signal the arrival of a world-class signing, either for the future or for now. How much will that perceived lack of reputation hinder Negredo if he does turn out for City next season? I have no doubt about Pellegrini and his ability to get the most out of the Sevilla forward, but it’s another matter of how much flexibility and time the City board will offer their new manager.
Negredo is a very good striker who will make the difference at most clubs. His lack of recent Champions League experience shouldn’t count against him too much. After all, the hostile crowd at the Sanchez Pizjuan is more than enough to force a player to strengthen and then reinforce his mentality. Negredo is a natural goal scorer who will be an asset to Manchester City. Pairing up with David Silva and former teammate Jesus Navas will only do wonders for each player’s claim for a spot in Vicente del Bosque’s World Cup squad.
The change of surroundings will do Negredo a world of good, too. Like most fans in England and unlike those in Spain, Manchester City supporters will immediately take to the Spaniard and treat him like one of their own. The striker is not shy from putting in a shift, and combined with his consistently good record in front of goal, he’ll quickly endear himself to the crowd.
Would Negredo be a good signing for Man City?
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