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2013/14 Manchester City Player Ratings: Costel Pantilimon

Mike Hewitt

Costel Pantilimon (12 games) 6/10 - Costel Pantilimon, it seems, is set face his entire City career with each and every summer bringing more questions over his future at the club. Such is the life of the back-up goalkeeper.

Yet for a section of the 2013/14 season it appeared that Pantilimon had an opportunity to stake a claim for the number one jersey on a full-time basis. Joe Hart's form had descended to such an extent that Manuel Pellegrini was forced, amidst much debate, to take him out of the line-up (in retrospect proving to be a masterstroke).

In came Pantilimon, the tall Romanian who to date had deputised only in early round domestic cup games, and in truth Pantilimon performed precisely as you would hope for. Proving an able deputy, he was able to step into the breach at a critical time for City, dependable and solid without ever being spectacular which, for all the talk of Hart's future (both short and long term) was a reason why Hart was always getting back into the side sooner rather than later.

The reality is that a side cannot carry two first choice goalkeepers. Much like with NFL quarterbacks you need to have a clearly defined role for each and with Pantilimon and Hart this is exactly what City possess. Pantilimon has proved himself and able back-up who is capable of deputising for Hart when required (enforced or otherwise). City will hope that he remains content to do so.