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City's new transfer target: Alvaro Negredo

Can Alvaro Negredo be the answer to City's striking issues?

City's new transfer target: Alvaro Negredo

Cristina Quicler - AFP

Manchester City are set to replace Carlos Tevez with Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo. Goal's Shikharr Chandra takes a closer look at the 27 year old striker from Sevilla...

COMMENT
By Shikharr Chandra | Premier League

Manuel Pellegrini's reign at Manchester City has only just begun and the former Real Madrid manager has raided Sevilla again. Having already signed Spanish winger Jesus Navas from Los Rojiblancos, the Chilean has snapped up Alvaro Negredo too.

It has been a mixed start for the new City boss who has seen his club sign Fernandinho and Navas but with the departure of Carlos Tevez to Juventus and an unsuccessful attempt to lure Isco from Malaga, there are a few gaping holes in their squad.

After a successful 2011-12 campaign under former manager Roberto Mancini, City failed to replicate their form the following season as they were handsomely beaten by city rivals Manchester United.

Mancini's final season saw his side miss the attacking flair they had boasted in their Premier League winning season. The attacking quartet of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli failed to replicate their form with the latter being shipped of to Italian giants AC Milan in the January transfer window. Continuous injuries to Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez did not help Mancini's cause as well.

With Balotelli and Tevez off to Italy, Pellegrini's primary issue is to deal with the lack of strikers in the club with only Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko as options.

Change? | Is Negredo the ideal replacement for Tevez?

At 6 feet, Alvaro Negredo is a very different type of striker when compared to Carlos Tevez. The Spaniard is a strong, imposing center forward similar to Edin Dzeko, but unlike the Bosnian, Negredo's ability to dribble and being quick make him a more complete forward. His hold-up play, aerial prowess combined with his vision make him an ideal number nine.

The former Almeria forward scored 31 goals last season which is more than the combined total of Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez's tally from last term. 

Alvaro Negredo Career stats
Games: 226
Goals: 132
Assists: 28

One thing though which Pellegrini needs to attend is Negredo's lack of defensive contribution. Tevez's work rate while going forward as well as tracking back has helped City's defense on numerous occasions. There is no question that the Argentine is a more complete player than the Spaniard but Pellegrini is looking for a goal scorer and he is getting one in Negredo.

Pellegrini's tactics in the past have shown that he prefers to use a lone forward. The former Villarreal manager used a more flexible 4-2-3-1 with both Malaga and Real Madrid which occasionally turned into a 4-4-2.

In Negredo, Pellegrini gets a man who thrives playing upfront on his own. The 27-year old played as a lone forward for both Sevilla and Almeria but if the manager has to accommodate two forwards in his line-up, a partnership of Aguero and Negredo will bring the much needed versatility to City's attack.

City's record in the Champions League has been poor. The Manchester side got eliminated without winning a single game last season and came third the season before that in the group stages. So it would have made more sense had City gone for a striker who had considerable experience in the Champions League, which Negredo doesn't.

Pellegrini's sides thrive upon their quick passing game, a style he wants to incorporate at City as well. But Negredo doesn't look like a sensible option for that particular system. The Spaniard's passing percentage of 64 was less than all the City strikers last season and way off the likes of David Silva and Samir Nasri who averaged more than 80%.

At his age, Negredo looks to be a pretty decent signing for Manchester City. The striker is in his peak form having scored more than 50 goals in the last 3 seasons and it could turn out to be a very shrewd buy by the Chilean. His 32 goals tally last season saw him end as the 7th top scorer in Europe.

But the fact is that Negredo is no Edinson Cavani. Having missed out on Robin Van Persie last season who ultimately turned out to be the difference in the title race, City's were un-successful in luring Cavani this time around. Will it prove costly like last season is yet to be seen, but in Negredo, they are getting a goal scorer. If the squad can overcome issues of inconsistency from last season, Pellegrini's project could be well and truly underway.

 

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