Five in Five 2013/14 season preview: City's transfer activity

Jessica Hromas

We move on to part two of Bitter and Blue's look ahead to the 2013/14 season.

Part one can be found here but today we take a look at City's summer transfer activity:

SufferingBruin: Mark Hughes, bless him, treated the open purse of Sheikh Mansour like a kid in a toy store who just gobbled a boatload of M&Ms. Anything that looked good was got: Wayne Bridge, Gareth Barry, Craig Bellamy, Carlos Tevez, Robinho, Vincent Kompany, Nigel de Jong, Pablo Zabaleta, half of Arsenal's squad and a partridge in a pear tree.

But there was never a clear cut plan so enter the man from Italy, Mancini, who had a plan Sun-Tzu would love: get great players at every position, get superstars-enter Yaya, Silva, Ageuro-and play them into the ground while everybody else fights for playing time. A taskmaster, with tasking that could and did wear on players, not to mention administration personnel.

Enter Pellegrini, who to borrow a word is more ‘holistic' than both of his predecessors combined. Signing players he knew he needed to fit the Malaga system, he signed them early, got right to work and my-oh-my look at the results. The preseason has been one of Christmas in August, with players feeling valued and frankly looking like they're having more fun playing the game than in many a blue moon. In short, I love how City has conducted its transfer business and I can't wait for the season to start.

kmoney2405: I am a huge fan of our transfer business this summer, much more than last.....obviously. We decided not to pursue Napoli egregious transfer fee for Cavani and got three solid players instead. I know Napoli is strapping for money, so I don't blame them, but I'm glad we didn't throw all that money for one player, I have had enough of that as a Yankee fan.

sonics097: Pretty good signings overall. City did well to avoid last summer's debacle and address all of the squad's main issues right away and not leave anything to uncertainty. I think Fernandinho will have the greatest impact of the 4, and I really see him shining in the PL. I like Negredo, he seems like a more jacked up version of Dzeko, and Navas has been a delight to have on the wing as well. Jovetic might be the best signing in the long run as he still has plenty of years ahead of him. I think we are sufficient in defense though an upgrade on Kolarov would be nice if we can also sell him. This is going to be an exciting season at the Etihad for sure.

lafaitele: I feel the same way about the guys we've brought in this summer as I did before the 2011-12 season, when we brought in Aguero, Nasri, and Clichy. I think that we got guys that are going to fix some of the major problems that we had last season. Jesus Navas is going to unlock defenses by running past guys, and playing smart crosses. Jovetic is going to give Silva some games off, and provide some different attacking options. Fernandinho is going to allow Yaya to stop worrying about covering for the player next to him, and just go be a beast. On top of that, Negredo is just a bonus, who will get goals in bunches.

I am concerned about our defense, but only the subs. Kolarov needs to go, as does Lescott. Neither of them is fast enough to play the kind of high line that our starters do. Even if both stay, at a minimum we need another central defender. I would prefer someone young and fast, rather than Pepe.

All in all, I think we have a heck of a squad moving forward.

Zac MacPhee: Very solid. I was never bothered by the cost of Fernandinho's transfer, as very good players in their prime moving from clubs that don't need to sell often have inflated price tags - his quality is obvious and will quickly become a key player in the starting XI. Jesus Navas is the type of player that City have been lacking for two seasons, a player who sees an opportunity to beat his man every time he touches the ball. The Jovetic transfer is the most exciting to me because of his age and talent. He'll become a mainstay in this squad for the next five to seven seasons, and came at a surprisingly affordable price.

The Negredo business is the only question mark I have, as he's all too similar to Dzeko and didn't come at a cut rate price. I would have been happier seeing a central defender come in instead, but he's still a good player who will certainly have the chance to help this team throughout the season.

Harkiano: Obviously the speed at which we have concluded deals this summer (especially in contrast to last year) has been extremely pleasing.  I would expect another arrival at centre-half before the deadline too.  In terms of the players we have brought in, Navas is the one that excites me most, largely because he gives the squad something we have been crying out for arguably since Craig Bellamy left - genuine raw pace.

He will also give us direct wing play which must be pleasing for Edin Dzeko and Negredo in particular.  I have never been overly impressed with Negredo in the past, but to be fair most of that was based on his displays for Spain, where any technical deficiency stands out even more.  His record for Sevilla recently has been excellent so it will be very interesting to see how that transfers to the EPL.  Fernandinho, despite being  little overpriced will be a star in my opinion and all that I hear from Jovetic seems very positive.

All the players would appear to be mature team players so there should be no struggle with egos as there has been with certain players in the past!  Outgoings - perhaps retaining Dzeko aside - have been as expected really, with money saved in wages key with regards to FFP.

shuddertothink: It seems that Man City identified that the squad had some weaknesses and that some of positional needs had to be filled as a matter of urgency.

Pace and dynamism alongside Toure was a pretty big need. The need for width and pace was filled by Navas. A new striker was needed to replace Balotelli and/or Tevez and although Jovetic's signing doesn't immediately appear to fill a need, the Montenegrin has the ability to play in the 'hole' and, being a natural left footer, he can also play as a narrow left winger. Three of the four signings fill a team need and Man City moved very very early in the window to secure Fernandinho and Navas. A lot of money spent on players with quality performance histories.

One gripe: apart from Jovetic Man City signed players who may have a limited number of peak years remaining. Could Man City have bought younger players? Probably. The fact they didn't appears to point to winning in the here and now.

I'd expect any new signings in 2014/15 to be a lot younger than this group.

Danny Pugsley: It has been strange to watch City move quietly and efficiently as the hype, headlines and running around has been conducted by others. City clearly had a plan, identified their targets and secured them (you can make a case that Edinson Cavani was an aborted move). There are questions perhaps as to whether City landed true 'elite' players and the ages are on the high side (Jovetic apart) but this indicates they are setting themselves for the next two or three seasons whilst fine tuning the Academy.

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