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On Carlos Tevez

Paul Thomas

So, an exit that at one stage of his City career looked highly improbable. Whilst no one will be etching his name into the pantheon of club legends any time soon Carlos Tevez does leave with a begrudging respect, having at a time appeared as though his would be a departure through the back door, with acrimony the overriding emotion.

But it of course could, and should, have been so much more. Tevez possessed all of the requirements to establish him as a club legend: the arrival from an arch rival, a tenacious attitude and feverish work rate all aligned with an eye for goal.

During his four (one truncated) seasons at the club he hit 58 Barclays Premier League and in doing so became the second fastest City player to hit 50 goals. His all-action and whole-hearted style also endeared himself immediately but this commitment and appetite on the pitch may was only matched by an antipathy and lack of desire to toe the party line off it (Carlito's Way if you will).

He will, however, be forever associated with that night in Munich, where a decision to refuse to take the field/warm up as instructed (delete as appropriate) saw an enraged Roberto Mancini announce post-match that the Argentine's time at the club was over. Tevez quickly became persona non grata as he fled to Argentina but returned during the latter part of the season where his arrival help buoy City towards the Premier League title.

Tevez is an undoubted talent, possessing the drive and ability to impact a game that few players can but I do have a theory that at City, as much as he brought to the side from an attacking perspective in one sense, the feeling persists that he could inhibit the attacking flow of a side. A dominant player in the sense of using the ball and space on the field how much did he take away from the likes of David Silva, Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure from midfield, in addition to his strike partners. It is worth noting that when considering the goals City scored whilst he was on the pitch last season Tevez was involved (i.e. scoring or assisting) on some 45.24% of them. Whilst he may have taken up the positions of others he did by and large deliver.

We know that Tevez was a player who, in the age of squad rotation, ate up plenty of minutes and is the type of player that is difficult to measure their worth in goals and assists alone but, under Manuel Pellegrini next season in what will likely be a faster paced transition from defence to attack the side could in theory prosper without him by becoming less dimensional and less reliant upon him.

By selling Tevez at this stage, with a year remaining on his contract, the club are believed to have saved a total of £27 million (through the transfer fee, savings on wages and bonus plus amortisation). Even assuming Tevez would have taken reduced wages to remain at the long on a new contract, a deal over three or four years (as Tevez seeks to maximise one final big contract) would still have counted a significant chunk towards the clubs annual outlay. As Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain begin to assert their control at the helm they have shown they are not afraid to take the sort of decisions they will view as necessary.

Where do City turn now then to replace both Tevez's minutes and the contribution he brings? Shuddertothink has a nice look at the possibilities here. Long time target Isco appears to have escaped City's clutches and rather than a striker in the mold of Edison Cavani (a 'pure' goalscorer) a player such as Stefan Jovetic (a 'second' striker) may be preferable. A more advanced role for David Silva, more responsibility for Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko and the arrival of Jesus Navas are also options that should fit Pellegrini's scheme.

For Juventus it is potentially a great pick up. Champions once again in Italy they look to be building another era of dominance and Tevez will add to an already impressive forward line as they seek to also re-impose themselves on the European stage.

Tevez may well have left with the cloud over him having passed but in doing so lacked the esteem and regard that his on pitch performances demanded - and leaving a sense of frustration at what his City career became.