What next for Joleon Lescott?
Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott has fallen down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium - could a summer transfer be on the cards?
Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott has been told he can leave the defending champions for as little as £4 million, having been signed for £24 million from Everton four years ago.
The versatile defender, who can ply his trade either at the heart of the defence or at left-back, has had a torrid time this season, making only 19 appearances in all competitions.
The Birmingham-born defender has also lost his place in the England national squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro, with Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand returning to the fold in his place.
Lescott's contribution to City has been massive over the years as he was instrumental in winning the FA Cup & Premier League title in his first three years at the club.
If he is to stay in Roy Hodgon's plans, Lescott must be playing regularly and, after slipping down the pecking order at the Etihad, a summer transfer move may be on the cards.
As far as a potential transfer goes, there would be a whole host of clubs interested in defender with international pedigree for such a nominal fee in the modern day transfer market.
Here's a look at some of the clubs who should look to benefit from Lescott's fall from grace at City, and take advantage of his availability at a price well below his actual value.
With the Gunners still struggling in defence, Lescott could be a good option to add the much required experience.
The trio of Mertesacker, Koscielny and Vermaelen have been inconsistent, while their fourth choice centre-back Squillaci has made just one appearance this season.
With speculation regarding Vermaelen’s future also doing the rounds, Lescott is one player who could improve Arsenal's back line.
Although Lescott is approaching the wrong side of 30, he still has a lot left in him to compete at the very top for a number of years. A similar signing was made by Arsene Wenger when he bought in William Gallas from Chelsea at the age of 29 (back in 2006), who subsequently helped shore up the Gunners' leaky defence.
With a good amount of experience and his strong presence at the back, he could prove to be a handy singing for the Gunners as they continue their search for their first trophy since 2005.
Having conceded 36 goals already this season in 29 league games, Liverpool are worse off than last season where they conceded 40 goals in the entire league season.
Their defensive pairing of Agger and Skrtel has been keeping their side compact at the back, while Carragher and Coates aren't bad options either. But with Carragher’s retirement and Coates’ lack of playing time leading to unsettlement, the Merseyside based club will certainly be looking for centre-backs this summer.
Lescott’s cheap price and healthy experience means that his addition will go a long way in helping the club’s youngsters, not to mention his ability to defend strongly when given chances.
Liverpool need a strong, dominating centre-back and Lescott will fit in that profile. His knack of scoring will also add a different dimension to Liverpool's game.
The only hurdle which Liverpool will possibly face in the pursuit of the Englishman will be his relations with Everton and their fans, who worshipped him during his three seasons at Goodison Park.
Thus, a move to Liverpool, although good for both the parties, looks difficult and unlikely to materialise.
Former club Everton will also be interested in re-signing their former hero. Having sold him for a massive £24 million, David Moyes will have no qualms about getting him back to Goodison Park for one-sixth of that fee.
Although Everton are spoilt for choice in the centre-half area, with John Heitinga, Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin all more than capable of filling the first-team spots, getting another experienced defender will only be helpful in their push for Champions League places.
His strength on the ball and organisational sense will add some steel to their back line and Lescott would be able to hit the ground running as he'd take little to no time to settle back into familiar surroundings.
Whichever club goes for him, they should know what they are buying. Lescott is an experienced defender who is strong on the ball but has his limitations when up against more agile forwards. But his ability to organise the defence and lead from the back means Lescott would represent a fantastic signing for a number of top Premier League clubs. So where will he end up? Have your say and let us know your thoughts!
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