Thursday, 13 May 2010

Hamšík, Balotelli, Luiz all linked

I've written before about the 'Boateng plan', and how our long interests would be best served by the recruitment of players who are young, hungry and who would like to win things with City - rather than those players falling under 'the Torres plan.' The last few days have seen transfer rumours suggesting that Mancini and the Player Acquisition Group feel this too. We have been linked with moves for 22 year old Marek Hamšík, 19 year old Mario Balotelli and 23 year old David Luiz.

First Oliver Kay wrote in The Times of Hamšík and Balotelli:

After several weeks of discussions over his transfer strategy with the club’s hierarchy, Roberto Mancini, the City manager, has urged his board to proceed with bids for Hamsik and Balotelli as he looks to reinforce a squad that narrowly missed out on a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League.

The challenge for Mancini will be in convincing the players that they can fulfil their ambitions with City. after the club’s failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Then there was this by Stuart Brennan in the Manchester Evening News regarding Luiz:

The Blues have been tracking the 6ft 2ins Benfica star for some time, and face stiff competition from Real Madrid and Barcelona.

But manager Roberto Mancini has identified the 23-year-old as a major star of the future - and he likes the fact that Luiz, principally a central defender, is also comfortable at left-back and as a defensive midfielder.

These three are all plausible: they fit into the strategy laid out in the Jérôme Boateng transfer - young, talented, playing for a good side in a good foreign league. It's a nice change from the Hughes approach of established Premier League stars, and not just from a novelty perspective either.

To take the three rumours one by one: I haven't seen Hamšík play too much but he's certainly very highly rated. He is a goalscoring midfielder, which is what we need - Gabriele Marcotti has said he could be the new Frank Lampard. I think we might struggle to tempt him though. He will be playing Europa League football with Napoli next season, and apparently could soon agree a new contract. But if he doesn't there is an opening there.

Balotelli is a move that makes sense. He has fallen out with almost everyone at Inter, having enjoyed a warm-enough relationship with Roberto Mancini before Mourinho's arrival. A summer departure is likely. His agent has since denied that he might move to City, but this is a fairly resilient rumour. I'm not very enthusiastic about this move. He's clearly talented, but also troubled. This is not what we need right now. That's not to say that it won't happen, though.

Finally Luiz. He looks very good when I've seen him; he's big, quick, and technically excellent. But if he came to City he would be denying himself Champions League football next season, something he earnt by winning the Liga Sagres this year. Had we got fourth it might just have been plausible. Not anymore though.


jackblue said...

Hamsik is class and I would love to see him in a City shirt. But we will not get him 'cause he will choose a club in the Champions league. However it might be a blessing in disguise if we then go on to get the 21yo Mesut Özil from Werder Bremen. Now he is a young player that City fans would adore.

Anonymous said...