Saturday, 24 April 2010

Mancini on transfer policy

Amongst his discussion of Fernando Torres, Mancini has shed more light on our transfer policy for the summer:
"I think we must buy a top player," he said. "We must make sure we don't spend too much on normal [average] players but if there is the possibility to spend the money on top players, young players who can help us build a future, I think it is OK.

"If we want to win the Premier League ahead of Chelsea and Manchester United we must sign some important players. All the top players want to play in the Champions League. But next season I want to win the Premier League; this is my desire even ahead of the Champions League, and I want players to understand that Manchester City are an important project for the future and that they can come here – [and] not only if we get fourth position."

I like the idea of buying three or four top quality players. I don't think our squad needs an overhaul, and I don't want to go through the disconcerting process of getting to know and love a whole new set of players. Champions League or not I think we need a goal-scoring midfielder, at least one full-back, maybe a better partner for Carlitos and maybe another centre-half. I'd rather go with four or five players than the seven or eight we bought in the summers of 2007 and 2009.

But it's also interesting to note 'young players who can help us build a future.' This is something I completely agree with. The last thing I want is for us to think we need Champions League experience and so to bring in Ronaldinho, Luca Toni and Ludo Giuly. I think we should follow the pattern of Chelsea from 2004 - when they signed Petr Cech, Arjen Robben, Joe Cole, Didier Drogba and so forth - all young hungry players, from UEFA Cup-level clubs and all with something to prove. And one of the reasons Jérôme Boateng feels like a smart buy is that he entirely fits this bill.

The thing is, I'm not sure that these two parts of the Mancini plan fit together. We could buy a handful of world class players. Or we could buy young and hungry players. But we'll struggle to do both. I mean, is Jérôme Boateng a world class defender? Is he going to add rare quality? Probably not, but he's ambitious and wants to win things at City. Fernando Torres is brilliant, but at 26 he' s not young. So the manager seems to be proposing two strategies which might have some overlap (Ángel Di María? Marek Hamšík?) but are fundamentally different. My favourite? The Boateng strategy, rather than the Torres strategy. It's more realistic and more sustainable.

1 comment:

kt said...

I'm not surprised he's not prioritising the champions league, considering how bloody awful he was in it with Inter.