According to the Telegraph, Spanish striker Nolito is set to become Pep Guardiola’s latest signing for Manchester City.
The Celta Vigo forward is reportedly the subject of a £13.8 million move to the Etihad as the former Bayern Munich manager begins, arguably, his toughest job to date.
Guardiola was appointed at the club with the tasks of regaining the Premier League crown as well as establishing City in Europe – something they haven’t managed to do as yet.
The man who swept all before him in the Bundesliga after arguably assembling one of the greatest club sides ever to grace the game at Barcelona now needs to answer any remaining critics that he may have had it easy thus far and turn City into one of the biggest clubs around.
He’s already started to reshape the team with Ilkay Gundogan and now with Nolito coming in he’s really starting to make his mark.
He’ll be judged on his signings of course, but we at FootballFanCast think Nolito could be the best of the bunch, here are FIVE reasons why…
At 29-years-old the Spaniard is in his best years as a forward and this could be key to Guardiola’s initial success. Instead of buying players with potential in his first season that could backfire if they flop, Nolito should guarantee performances at his best level from the off. There’s a sense around the club that any potential detractors are eager to see Pep fail straight away and so by bringing in players ready to perform instantly, this chance decreases.
Guardiola is the leading pioneer of the passing game. His Barcelona style will no doubt be coached with the Citizens and so it makes sense to bring in players that already know how to cherish the ball. Nolito is a key part of the Spanish national set up and so of course knows how to keep hold of possession and this factor, combined with being the same nationality as his potential new coach, will serve to help City adopt Guardiola’s tactics quickly.
At £13.8m Nolito commands a fee not normally associated with the modern Man City approach. Since the club’s takeover in the previous decade a number of high profile, high cost players have been brought in to varying degrees of success – for every Sergio Aguero there is a Robinho. The cut price fee though for the Celta Vigo man negates any issue with him not performing, and also alleviates any pressure a bigger fee would have placed on the player.
Despite being primarily used on the left side of the attack, the Spaniard had an impressive goal record last season. Last term he scored 12 goals in 27 La Liga games for his club, as Celta Vigo became one of the stories of the Spanish season. Then when you consider the goal return of Raheem Sterling in the same position last season – six in 23 Premier League appearances – you see a player that would improve significantly on what the Sky Blues have currently.
As well as the goals Nolito will bring to the club, it’s the chances he lays on that’ll make him a hit with the Etihad crowd. Nolito provided seven assists last season in La Liga. Again compared to Sterling the Englishman only provided two in his first year at the club in the league. Evidently Guardiola has highlighted the left side of City’s attack as a weakness, underlined by Sterling looking devoid of confidence, and he clearly feels Nolito would be able to offer far more down that side.