Football FanCast guest columnist Lee Harper feels that Mark Hughes would be crazy sacrifice Robinho in January.
Robinho is arguably the most talented player to don a City shirt probably since Colin Bell and when he plays it an absolute pleasure to see a world class player showcase his craft; I know many will pinpoint his form away from home as a subject of debate, but he was hardly in a team that was firing all cylinders, or one that was putting in the notable effort that they always seem to show when at Eastlands.
There has been a huge amount of talk of late in the Press about his future and a rumour about a possible move to Barcelona has been mooted in January. If you believe the reports that Hughes is perhaps preparing to sacrifice the Brazilian in order to entice both Carles Puyol and Eric Abidal to Eastlands, then I believe that we will be making a terrible mistake. If we want the Barca duo then why not buy them, rather than sell who I believe to be the jewel in our crown.
I am not naive to suggest that I don't believe that there isn't any friction between Hughes and the player, because I believe there is, given Robinho's public backing of Elano and various other issues, but surely there comes a time when you ignore certain infractions a player may have, if you know it is for the benefit of the team. I know that Bellamy has done extremely well for us and filling in on that left hand side, but is he honestly a better and more productive player than the Brazilian would be? This is no slight on Bellamy, as I think any successful team needs quality like him in the squad, but as a regular starter surely the team will be much stronger with Robinho in it, especially one that has designs on being one of the best in Europe in the coming seasons?
As I said at the start of this piece, Robinho was outstanding in a team that for the large part that was struggling and we have yet to see what kind of performance he would produce alongside players of Toure, Barry, Tevez and Adebayor's class. It could take the team to a totally different level and perhaps prove the difference in whether we are capable of finishing in the top four or beyond this season, therefore Hughes cannot and mustn't contemplating cashing in on him or looking at a possible swap deal in January. A world class team needs world class players, and there are only a few, that are better than Robinho, in my opinion.
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