Updated: Tuesday, 18th September 2018 @ 4:23pm

'Certainly up to it': Manchester City's forgotten man Roque Santa Cruz backs Manuel Pellegrini for Etihad job

'Certainly up to it': Manchester City's forgotten man Roque Santa Cruz backs Manuel Pellegrini for Etihad job

By Colin Henrys

Manchester City flop Roque Santa Cruz has lauded Manuel Pellegrini's managerial credentials, insisting he is the right man to replace Roberto Mancini.

Santa Cruz ‒ a £17.5 million summer signing for Mark Hughes in 2009 ‒ found first-team opportunities limited under Mancini and has spent this year with Pellegrini at Malaga.

And the Paraguayan forward believes Pellegrini ‒ the favourite to replace Mancini ‒ has the experience and drive to be a success at City.

"Pellegrini has a good record in Spanish football and a move to City would be a good opportunity for him," he told Goal.com.

"He would certainly be up to it. He has a lot of merits. He’s been doing a very good job and this would be a good opportunity for him, if it’s confirmed.

"He will be able to compete for more important aims, in a big league, and with the players they have at City with their strong squad."

The Paraguayan, who stated his desire to return to South America with his contract up in the summer, was also not surprised to see Mancini sacked.

Despite winning the FA Cup in 2011 ‒ CIty's first major trophy in 35 years ‒ and bagging the Premier League last season, Mancini failed to build on his success.

And Santa Cruz ‒ who admitted the Italian did a great job ‒ believes the owners' ambitions made his sacking inevitable.

"I’m not surprised about Mancini’s leaving," he added. "The club have their ambitions, their spending is linked to the ambitions of their owners.

"After not winning anything this season, it was a difficult situation. He’s had to go because of the ambitions of the owners."

Image courtesy of MCFC, via YouTube, with thanks

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