In the early days of the Mark Hughes era, Manchester City spent big on several players, in order to get the team to the top level of English football. Whilst this feat may not have been achieved under Hughes, it certainly was under Mancini.
One constant in these two men’s sides was Gareth Barry. The midfielder signed from Aston Villa for £12 million in 2009, and has been successful since, winning an FA Cup and the Barclays Premier League under Mancini.
Despite this success, he has never quite won over some City fans, with his pace and inconsistent performances (mainly due to a lack of a right foot) making him a scapegoat for sections of the City support. With just a year left on the original contract he signed four years ago, Barry has spent much of this summer linked with a move away from the Etihad, and it seems he has got it with his season-long loan to Everton.
There, it is expected he will take the place of Marouane Fellaini in the Toffees’ side, who has left Goodison Park to re-join David Moyes at Manchester United. However, this will mean Barry will have to play deeper than Fellaini did for Everton, and will probably be far less effective than the Belgian was.
After four good signings earlier this summer, it seemed Manchester City’s spending was all but done for the window, until it came to light that a new central defender was needed in the absence of Vincent Kompany, who picked up an injury in City’s opening game of the season against Newcastle.
Although many names were linked with a move, the one eventually confirmed by the Blues was the signing of Martin Demichelis from Atletico Madrid. The Argentine was released by Malaga at the start of the summer, and picked up by Atletico, who have let the 32-year-old leave in exchange for around £4.6m.
Demichelis has played under the new manager Manuel Pellegrini twice before, at River Plate and at Malaga, so obviously knows his new manager well. From what I’ve seen, he looks like a very good signing for the price, although he has been criticised by some sections of the City support already.
What many have failed to notice that the defender was named in La Liga’s team of the season last time around, alongside names such as Lionel Messi. On a reported £18k per week, Demichelis could prove to be a fantastically shrewd signing.
Written by Ben Walker
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