Updated: Tuesday, 19th November 2019 @ 1:56pm

Tuesday Team Talk: Fernandinho is proof that Manchester City need experienced signings, not mistakes

Tuesday Team Talk: Fernandinho is proof that Manchester City need experienced signings, not mistakes

Comment by James Scott

Former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini conceded as early as January that their failure to capture Robin van Persie cost them this season’s title.

The electrifying Dutchman's 26 Premier League goals – as many as Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko combined – were decisive in red half of Manchester wresting their title back.

City’s new signings flattered to deceive this season, with Jack Rodwell, Javi Garcia, Scott Sinclair and Maicon coming in for criticism after failing to make an impact.

The big-money deals orchestrated by Director of Football Txiki Begiristain and Chief Executive Ferran Soriano to bring in Fernandinho and Jesus Navas are signs that City mean business this summer.

Rather than bringing in squad players touted as future stars, City have signed established names that will be expected to light up the first team.

The 28-year-old Brazilian Fernandinho reportedly came in at a hefty £30 million, but arrives with the speed, power and crossing ability to revitalise a midfield overly reliant on Yaya Toure.

Jesus Navas – a World Cup and European Championship winner with Spain – is a considerable update on Sinclair, and is destined to link-up with compatriot David Silva.

Looking back on City’s summer spending following their narrow title-win, the first battle was lost in the transfer market as they failed to sign their prime targets.

Missing out on van Persie was crucial, as City’s watertight defence paled into insignificance when complemented by an attack that managed only a single goal more than Villa away from home.

Second on City’s list of failed targets was Belgian wonderkid Eden Hazard, whose stellar performances at eventual club Chelsea further showed up the under-performing Samir Nasri.  

Mancini could not tempt midfield centurion Daniele de Rossi away from his beloved Roma, leaving a lack of tenacity in the heart of midfield following Nigel de Jong’s departure.

Despite City appearing prudent in their dealings with Financial Fair Play looming, the Blues spent almost £50 million on players, with only classy centre-back Matija Nastasic emerging with any credit.

Javi Garcia was City’s biggest summer purchase, but the Spanish screener lacked de Jong’s bite in the centre of the park, and Rodwell’s injury woes restricted him to 11 starts.

Maicon was one of Mancini’s trusted lieutenants at Inter, but the Brazilian looked off the pace in the Premier League while Sinclair’s development has stalled on the bench.

Given that the previous summers had seen the arrival of Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli, City’s lack of a true marquee signing saw them take one step forward and two steps back.

City will be determined not to make the same mistakes twice, and with high-earning Wayne Bridge, Roque Santa Cruz and Kolo Toure on the way out, more arrivals are to be expected.

Incoming manager Manuel Pellegrini will want to stamp his mark on the side he inherits, and big-money moves for Napoli’s Edinson Cavani, Malaga’s Isco have been mooted.

This summer’s transfer window promises to be a fascinating affair, with David Moyes and Jose Mourinho starting new regimes and Arsene Wenger having a war-chest to spend.

But if City are to lift the Premier League trophy next May, they must ensure they stay one step ahead of their rivals in the transfer window – there’s no going back now.

Image courtesy of AlJazeeraEnglish, via YouTube, with thanks

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