Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Touré signs

The news that we all expected today: Kolo Touré has signed for City, on a four year deal. He is our sixth signing of the summer, our fifth for over £10m, but our first defender.

Mark Hughes was delighted on the deal's completion:

"I am delighted to welcome Kolo to Manchester City. It is no secret that we have been looking to strengthen our defence, and in Kolo I feel we have recruited a world class player. He brings a wealth of Premier League experience from his seven seasons with Arsenal,” he declared.

“Kolo has been a central figure in a very strong Arsenal team for many years, and I have been an admirer of him for a long time. He is strong, quick, reads the game well and will be an influential figure in the dressing room.”

Kolo Touré fits perfectly into the mold of our summer signings, in that he has the one attribute Hughes values above all others: top six Premier Leauge experience. Given Sheikh Mansour's demand that City finish sixth or higher in 2009/10, Hughes' response has been perfectly logical - to fill the team with players who have already achieved finishes of sixth or higher at their current clubs. Santa Cruz was a slight anomaly, having finished seventh in his one full season in the EPL. But then there was Gareth Barry, who achieved sixth placed finishes with Villa in 2008/09 and 2007/08. And Carlos Tévez who picked up two Premier League winners' medals in his two years at Manchester United. Then Emmanuel Adebayor, who came fourth then fourth then third then fourth in his four years at Arsenal. We failed in our pursuit of John Terry - two winners' medals and three second placed finishes in the last six years, but remain keen on Joleon Lescott: sixth then fifth then fifth in his three years at Everton. Touré fits this perfectly: in seven years at Arsenal they finished fourth three times, third once, second twice and won it once. So there's certainly a very clear pattern in our pursuit of targets this year.

A further point can be made about age. The short term nature of Sheikh Mansour's demands means that this is no time for playing the Wenger game - we need players at their peak. So it's 28 year old Touré to go with 28 year old Barry, 27 year old Santa Cruz, 25 year old Tévez and 25 year old Adebayor. Lescott is 26 (not 24 -thanks why3435).

So the pattern is clear. As, increasingly, is the jigsaw. Touré will start at centre half alongside whichever other defender we sign: presumably Joleon Lescott but possibly Matthew Upson or even someone else altogether. I did initially have my concerns that the signing of two new defenders would force out Nedum Onuoha, although other news today has refuted that claim.


Anonymous said...

I love reading your articles, seem to always be spot on with my opinions on things (haha whether that be good or bad.) Anyway Lescott is actually 26, which proves your original idea even more. Hughes is putting quite the squad together can't wait for the season to start.

JPB said...

Cheers mate!