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Manchester City have taken their first major step towards wrestling back the league title

.. and improving their fortunes in the Champions League with the signings of Sevilla winger Jesus Navas and Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Fernandinho is an excellent piece of business by City

Fernandinho is an excellent piece of business by City

Many pundits attributed a large part of last season’s lacklustre title tilt to the club’s summer transfer failings. Axed boss Roberto Mancini aired his grave disappointment at missing out on the services of Robin van Persie.

The Dutch star went on to score 26 goals for fierce neighbours Manchester United – as many as Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko combined – and in the end it proved decisive.

City’s biggest capture, Javi Garcia, failed to justify the £18m price-tag, while Jack Rodwell’s persistent injuries saw him spend lengthy periods on the sidelines. Maicon and Scott Sinclair were also unable to make a reasonable impact for the first-team, limited to appearances off the bench.

As the season progressed, the side’s ineptitude was evident with a lack of width and guile in midfield. Furthermore, the situation was worsened by Mancini’s stubborn approach. High expectations meant last campaign’s results could be labelled as nothing but dismal.

Finishing 11 points behind league leaders United, eliminated from the Champions League group stage for the second successive year and humbled by Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup Final – the fact file told a grim picture.

City and newly instated manager Manuel Pellegrini will be determined not to make the same mistakes again. Business done late in the previous transfer window – and done badly – has clearly been learnt from with new faces already drafted into the squad.

A fee in the region of £21m is a hefty sum for the creative right-winger Navas, but the 27-year-old has a fine record for the Spanish outfit, scoring 34 goals and providing 77 assists in 388 appearances in all competitions.

The diminutive playmaker has mesmerised defences for almost a decade now. He has blistering pace, excellent crossing ability, deft touch and is technically gifted – all attributes that will serve him well in the Premier League. The only major concerns surface around his poor finishing, evident by just a solitary goal last season. Creating chances for teammates is at the heart of his game, if he can provide opportunities for City’s star-studded forwards, the scoring woes will be cast to the side.

It reportedly cost the club a sizeable £30m for 28-year-old Fernandinho, but he arrives with speed and power that can help rejuvenate the midfield department along with the imperious Yaya Toure. His well-rounded game could prove to be one of the shrewdest purchases in recent years.

The Brazil international can drive at opponents, is strong in a tackle, has an astute reading of the game and is capable of turning defence into attack in an instant. He possesses similar qualities to that of Chelsea’s lightening-quick Ramires, but has a more reliable passing range than his compatriot. Fernandinho’s high-tempo game should free up Toure to assume a more attacking role, whilst also allowing him to help aid the defence.

The introduction of Fernandinho is a real statement of intent for the season ahead, and if they can successfully swoop for highly-rated Spanish youngster Isco, confidence within the camp should be at a premium. With Pellegrini also closely monitoring the availability of Real Madrid’s central defender Pepe, it appears City are attempting to reinvigorate their squad with serious quality.

After last season’s embarrassment, domestic and continental redemption is high on the agenda and outplaying their title rivals in the transfer market will be pivotal to their cause.

Post written by Ayooluwa Isaiah
Blog: outside90.com/Ayooluwa-Isaiah, Twitter: @Ayo_Isaiah8

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Originally published at outside90.com


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