After the departures of Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli in the last 7 months, Manchester City’s main concern in the transfer window is improving their attacking options. Alvaro Negredo could be the first striker to join this summer, but would he help City win back the title?
Manuel Pellegrini sees Negredo as the striker to improve this and replace the void left from the departed Carlos Tevez, yet will come at a cost as Sevilla rate him at £24m and is also wanted by Atletico Madrid.
The Spanish international, who was involved at the Confederations Cup, scored 25 goals in La Liga last season, despite Sevilla’s poor performance saw them finish 9th, beating his previous best of 20 goals that he achieved in 2010/11.
A striker with a goal scoring record like Negredo is something that Manchester City are looking for after they struggled on an attacking front last season scoring only 66 goals in total, 27 goals less than in their title winning season.
The only remaining strikers from 2011/12 scored 26 goals between them last season, with Aguero scoring 12 and Dzeko scoring 14 goals as they encountered a frustrating year.
With his 25 goals, Negredo finished 4th in the top goal scorer list in Spain behind Messi, Ronaldo and Falcao; yet in the Premier League that total would have seen him finish 2nd only behind Robin Van Persie.
The Sevilla striker’s minutes per goal ratios were also better than the majority of Premier League forwards as he scored a goal every 121.4 minutes on average, which is only beaten than Robin Van Persie and Romelu Lukaku. Van Persie, whose decision to join Manchester United ultimately won the league for the Red Devils, scored a goal every 120.12 minutes.
The striker with the best minutes per goal ratio for Manchester City last season was the club’s top goal scorer, Edin Dzeko, with a goal every 129.57 minutes. However, Dzeko only played 1815 minutes which explains why his ratio is so low compared to the amount of goals that he scored. The other City strikers who played the full season, Aguero and Tevez, had averages of 161.75 and 218.91 minutes per goal scored respectively.
Negredo isn’t a like for like replacement for Tevez though, the lacking the impressive work rate that made the Argentine loved by fans, and resembles a slightly similar style of play to Dzeko with his aerial ability and holding up the ball for team mates – something that will help him to adapt quickly to style of play in England.
Dzeko’s consistency has often been questioned as he struggled to hold down a starting position in the side and has seen him be deemed a ‘super-sub’ by some supporters after 16 substitute appearances. The Bosnian missed 17 clear cut chances last season, but this is dwarfed by Negredo’s worryingly 29 clear cut chances missed, the most in Europe’s top 5 leagues.
The amount of chances missed by Negredo can be seen in his shot accuracy, which at 45% is lower all of the top 8 goal scorers in the Premier League last season bar Michu, with Robin Van Perise and Luis Suarez having a shot accuracy of 55% and 50% respectively. Whilst a gap of 10% may not seem much, in reality it is the difference between winning the league or missing out by a couple of goals – something that helped Manchester City to win the title a year ago.
Negredo does offer something different to City’s current strike-force though by being left footed, yet he is still comfortable on his right foot as he scored 20% of his goals on his ‘weaker’ foot.
Pellegrini has been a fan of Negredo’s for a number of years, with financial problems at Malaga preventing him from signing the forward last summer, and the former Real Madrid striker will ensure goals for the new City boss after he continued his run of scoring double figures into its 7th year last season.
If he is to be the man that leads the Manchester City attack come August though, Negredo will have to guarantee he becomes less wasteful as City’s fans will not be too fond of a repeat of the disappointing form of their strikers last season.
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