Football

Alvaro Negredo to flop at Manchester City?

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Negredo joined Manchester City this week (©GettyImages)
Negredo joined Manchester City this week (©GettyImages).

Last year, around this time, when Manchester United shelled out a pretty penny of about £24m to bring one of the world's most prolific strikers to Old Trafford, City fans were scared.

Much like Sergio Aguero's arrival a year before that, Premier League fans got a sinking feeling that Robin Van Persie could prove to be the difference in the 2012-13 title race.

This year, yet another striker is arriving mid-July for in excess of £20m, but will he make the same difference that the unstoppable Dutchman did?

Alvaro Negredo had never been a superstar. Rejected by Real Madrid, he was forced to make his home elsewhere. Originally signed as a back-up plan to Sevilla's two-year UEFA Cup-winning strike-force of Luis Fabiano and Frederic Kanoute, nobody expected much from the lanky Spaniard.

However, as luck would have it, frequent and injuries to both starting strikers gave Negredo a golden opportunity to establish himself within the ranks of his new club.

He bagged a respectable 16 goals in 32 games in his first season. Then, Sevilla slowly started shipping off their strikers. Negredo proceeded to bag 27 goals next season and really establish himself as a finisher extraordinaire in the Sevilla line-up.

On paper he looks fierce, majestic even. But why is he not instilling the same bout of fear in United fans that Van Persie did last year? Well, the simple answer is that, despite his goal record, he's just not as good.

Yes, Negredo gets goals and a lot of them at that. But he doesn't have the same je ne sais quoi that Van Persie brought to United. At Sevilla, he was a big fish in a small pond, but the rarity with which prolificacy transfers when the big fish jumps in to a big pond is a worrying factor. Sure, players have done it - just look at superstar Aguero. However, for every Aguero there is an Edin Dzeko who just doesn't cut it at the top. 

Negredo offers nothing but goals. His passing accuracy last season was abysmal even for a striker (he didn’t even complete 68% of his passes) and he missed the most "clear chances" in the top five leagues last season (29).

Add it up and United and Chelsea fans have a clear reason not to be too terrified when the lanky striker makes the Etihad Stadium his new home.

Negredo is not the game-changing signing that City desperately craves to reassert their dominance in the Premier League again. By signing Fernandinho and Jesus Navas, they've added another dimension to their game, but signing Negredo will not help towards their biggest problem last season: a lack of definitive leadership on the field.

My feeling is that Negredo will join a long line of multi-million dollar signings that come to City with all guns blazing - only to be cast out a year later unarmed and battered. Only time will tell.

 

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Topics:
Premier League
Football
Manchester City
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