With the season fast approaching, many players at Manchester City have been told that they are surplus to requirements and won’t be featuring in the star studded line up in the year ahead. Man City have a wealth of striking riches with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli, an unsettled Carlos Tevez, Roque Santa Cruz, Emmanuel Adebayor and Craig Bellamy to pick from. Frankly the list is outrageous, and it is no wonder they have looked to cut it down. Bellamy is one of the players who has been told he will not feature in Man City’s squad in the next season. So where does that leave the fiery Welshman? Could one of the Premier League sides like Everton, Bolton, Sunderland or Blackburn give him a chance, or could he end up at Celtic, or Cardiff on another loan deal?
We last saw the best of Bellamy in a Man City shirt under previous manager Mark Hughes. He was hurt by Hughes’ departure, and has been a vocal critic of his replacement Roberto Mancini. He and Mancini fell out over his knee rehabilitation program shortly after Mancini’s arrival at the club, and he was swiftly shipped out and spent last season on loan at home town club Cardiff. Bellamy has stated that he has some unfinished business in the Welsh capital, and would like to return there and try and get them into the Premier League this season.
Left out of the Man City squad for the pre-season tour to the USA, he is clearly not part of Mancini’s plans, so who else would benefit from signing Bellamy? With the talent and ability he possesses, there are a number of Premier League clubs like Everton – who clearly need a goal scoring front man – who could benefit from signing him. Sunderland are another side who have been linked with the player, who would complete their side, with the options he provides as a wide man, or upfront, and it would seem Man City would be willing to let him go to a side not challenging them for the title. His temperamental history may put some sides off, as they don’t want to bring in players who will rock the boat, although Bellamy seems to have calmed down in the last year or so. The stumbling block for many sides is his high wage demands. Last season Man City subsidised some of his wages when he was on loan at Cardiff, but it is unlikely that they will do that this year, whether in a loan move to Cardiff, or Celtic who have also stated an interest. With a year left on his contract Bellamy wanted a permanent switch, but it seems he may have to settle for a loan move, particularly if Cardiff is his desired destination. Is it a waste of his talents to drop drown from the Premier League level again?
If Bellamy doesn’t manage to secure a deal before the end of the transfer window then he could be left to rot in the Man City wilderness for a year, which is a travesty for a player of his quality. At his age he isn’t going to have many years left at this level, so to be stuck unable to play would be a shame. Bellamy may have had his problems, and be a figure that inspires hatred up and down the country, but there is no doubt that on his day he is a quality player. He provides natural width, and still has the pace to take on and get past almost anyone. He has a proven goal scoring record at the highest level, and is an experienced head. He has always given 100% every time he has stepped out onto the pitch, which is more than can be said for certain Premier League players. He has knee problems but he can still play a significant number of games a season, enough to be of benefit to any side at the highest level.
If he remains stuck at Man City, it will likely kill his career. It’s a shame that Mancini wouldn’t give him one more chance to prove he could still cut it in the Premier League. He would offer City a different option, and never give them less than 100%. He is experienced and proven at this level which is more than you can say for Dzeko and Balotelli. When he played regularly for City he was one of their top players, and it is sad that his time with them looks set to end this way.
Bellamy still has the pace and the ability to terrify Premier League defences, this combined with experience at the highest level, would make him a perfect option for many sides. Will any club be willing to take a gamble and grant him one last Premier League hurrah?