David Platt has denied Manchester City have taken a gamble by signing injury-plagued Owen Hargreaves, but instead claims it represents some creative business.
The England international moved to the Etihad Stadium on a free transfer in a somewhat surprising turn of events after he was released from his contract by Manchester United.
Hargreaves, 30, has made only five appearances in the last three seasons, having seen chronic knee injuries blight a promising Old Trafford career.
But the midfielder has been offered a fresh start by Roberto Mancini after proving his fitness, and Platt believes the Citizens have pulled off a significant coup.
"We needed a central midfield player but unfortunately in terms of players going out and bringing in transfer fees, a lot have gone out on loan, so fees haven't come in for them," the City coach told the Manchester Evening news.
"For a few weeks we have understood, from a business perspective, that after signing Samir Nasri,there wasn't going to be a big-name signing coming in.
"You have to get creative. The owners and the board have been terrific in saying 'We know you need a midfield player but we have to be creative about it'."
Platt added: "A lot of people would say it's a gamble, but I think gamble is too strong a word. When you put all the things into the mix it's a calculated risk, and one that we feel is well worth taking.
"What we do know is that if we look at the glass as half full, and it works out for us and for Owen, we get the kind of player that it's very difficult to find - a player that has got that Champions League experience.
"If we are talking about Owen Hargreaves as was, he is one of the best midfield players in the world."