With only one appearance for Spain since 2013 and no goals in the Premier League since January 2014, it’s been a tough time for Jesus Navas recently. The Spanish winger will be hoping that his form picks up again or he could face the Manchester City axe.
Nine games into the Premier League season and Manchester City sit at the top of league, with their last two fixtures seeing an immense eleven goals. However, despite being a crucial member of such a goal-rich team, Navas simply cannot find the net at the moment.
Rumours have been circulating that the right midfielder may return to Spain in January as a stagnant start to the campaign sees his City career continue to decline. The pacey winger is being gradually starved of game time and is far from the electric presence he had brought to the club’s title winning side in 2014.
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Whilst still an energetic injection from the bench and a steady supplier of assists, the Spaniard’s penalty area skill seems to have been blunted since the World Cup. His near post strike in the 2014 Capital One Cup final was his last club goal and Cardiff City are the last Premier League side to have their net rippled by Navas.
Although the 29-year-old is far from an all-out striker, City fans would still expect their wide men to deliver more than a solitary goal every 20 months.
This mammoth goal drought was nicely demonstrated over the weekend upon Navas going clean-through on the keeper against Bournemouth.
Despite rounding Adam Federici, the forward’s confidence was so degraded that he didn’t trust his left foot, took a number of unnecessary touches and had his vastly delayed effort saved. Raheem Sterling’s rebound conversion bailed out his team mate's blushes.
Moreover, the incident came only a month after he had missed an open goal at Selhurst Park.
The main team to be linked with Navas comes in the form of his previous employers, Sevilla. Having donned the Andalucía-based club’s jersey for a decade, the World Cup winner still has a special place in the hearts of the fans.
Manchester City locked horns with Sevilla on Wednesday night in a game that saw the English side victorious via Kevin de Bruyne’s late winner. Navas played the entire match, his first against his old team, and according to TalkSport admitted: "It's special, the affection is mutual and everybody knows this is a special match for me."
However, when asked whether he would consider a move back to Sevilla, Navas simply replied: “I'm only thinking about City.”
Regardless of whether Navas does depart Manchester though, there is little doubt that the pint-sized Spaniard needs a goal to take a considerable amount of weight off his shoulders. Under the spotlight of the Premier League, Navas will need to improve or could easily been shown the exit at the Etihad.
City fans: Is it important for Navas to be scoring goals if he is regularly contributing assists? Have your say in the comments section below!