Manchester City completed the signing of Jesus Navas from Sevilla earlier this week for £17 million plus add-ons. Having surrendered their Premier League title to Manchester United and parting company with Roberto Mancini this is the first statement of intent by the club.
Navas will provide City with the one thing they have lacked this season – width. During some games their dependency on Yaya Toure’s bursts through the middle made their play incredibly predictable. The Spaniard has pace to burn and will provide the new manager with another dimension in attack.
It is an exciting move for the former Sevilla winger who has suffered from extreme home sickness throughout his career. As far back as 2006 he was linked to the Premier League but his unwillingness to leave has delayed his move away from Spain. It has caused serious issues with his International career too and has resulted in him leaving training camps early to return home.
He emerged through the youth team ranks at Sevilla where his electric pace and ability to take players on has made him one of the most exciting players to watch in Spain. Unfortunately for the club and Navas the club has had a fairly inconsistent time in recent seasons and his desire to play at a higher level has resulted in his departure. The fact that Sevilla are also in severe financial trouble will also have hastened the move.
Having represented Spain at International level and appearing in Europe almost every season since making his debut he is accustomed to playing against the best. What will be interesting to see though is how he is deployed at City. He has spent the majority of his career on the right wing where he has terrorised the opponents’ left-backs time and again. This season however he has operated slightly more centrally where his pace can take him beyond the lines faster than others.
What City have been crying out for is some width but with Manuel Pellegrini seemingly waiting to be confirmed as the new manager at City this situation may change. There are also issues to be resolved within the team over the futures of several of their attacking players. It could be that Navas’ future in England could be more of an old fashioned inside forward rather than an out and out winger but it is mere speculation at the moment.
The fact remains though that Manchester City have completed an outstanding bit of business that benefits everyone concerned. If Navas can keep his home sickness under control his partnership with Aguero and Silva should prove to be fascinating.
It is sad to see another top player leaving domestic Spanish football but his progress will be followed closely by everyone associated with Sevilla.
Written by Andy Hunter
Follow Andy on Twitter @hunter67980
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