And so once again the transfer window has closed, bringing to an end the circus inhabited by the likes of Peter Odemwingie, Jim White, Harry Redknapp and those bored kids who mess around behind Sky Sports’ reporters.
Manchester City in recent years have become a full part of this madness, so it was both an unsettling and reassuring feeling for the club to take a back seat this time round.
City got the majority of their transfer dealings done very early, with Martin Demichelis the last of the additions. The veteran Argentine will bring much needed experience and a cool head to a back four found lacking without Vincent Kompany at its heart. Although clearly a stop-gap measure, Manuel Pellegrini will hope that he can recreate the form he found at Malaga and offer genuine competition for a place instead of just providing cover.
Moving out of the club this September are Abdul Razak – a player who has been on the periphery of the squad for years without ever being able to make the next step – and Gareth Barry, who has formed the cornerstone of City’s success in recent years. The latter will be missed at the club and his professionalism can never be called into question, but his contribution on the pitch was starting to lessen with each passing game. Furthermore, his place in the team looked ever more doubtful with the capture of Fernandinho. Nevertheless Barry can leave with his head held high and a couple of winner’s medals under his belt.
The talk around much of the Premier League now is of which club has done the best business and which player will make the biggest impression. Mesut Ozil is undoubtedly a world class capture for Arsenal, and he would have improved any club, albeit at a hefty price.
The likes of Erik Lamela and Willian are others who will come with a big price tag and high expectations. However, three games into the new season and it’s a City capture that this particular blogger is getting excited about – the Beast of Vallecas, Alvaro Negredo.
Negredo’s goal scoring record in Spain is well documented and he has begun at City where he left off at Sevilla. Three substitute appearances have brought about two legitimate goals and another wrongly disallowed for offside. But it is more than just these stats that point towards the Spaniard becoming a terrace hero. Negredo has replaced Edin Dzeko in recent games and immediately offered a more dynamic threat up top. He looks desperate to please the fans and his new manager, and eager to get at the opposition defence.
Coming on at half-time of an abject display against Hull at the weekend, Negredo changed the game. His movement in the final third stretched the Hull defence and immediately brought about chances. Both goals so far have been measured headers and he is yet to unleash his fearsome left boot.
His enthusiasm and energy will undoubtedly win him admirers on the terraces and his goals won’t go amiss either. If he can get an established run in the side and continue to build relationships with the likes of David Silva and Jesus Navas, there’s no reason why Negredo can’t be top scorer this season.
After his recent performances, there is no way Pellegrini can continue to leave the Spaniard on the bench against Stoke. It’s the type of game he was made for. Let’s hope that Negredo has only shown us glimpses of the terror he will inflict on the Premier League this season.