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Manchester City 2014-15 Player Ratings: Jesús Navas

A rather divisive player, Jesús Navas continues to prove his worth as a squad player.

Jesús Navas dribbles against Leicester
Jesús Navas dribbles against Leicester
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Jesús Navas (35 League Appearance, 23 Starts): 6.5/10

I'll start with the obvious: using decimals is a bit of a cop-out and I'll cop to that. Here's how that happened: I started at a seven and immediately thought "Nope, too high" and changed it to a six, at which point I thought "No way, he was better than Fernando who I've already graded a six." And so, the extra half point which puts him firmly in the "Useful But Limited" category.

I obviously have no sources for this and none of the club's hierarchy have ever explicitly stated this, but I believe that Navas was bought specifically for the purpose of being a squad player who offers something City were previously lacking. Namely, pace and width. Navas arrived in the same summer as Pellegrini, a manager who has consistently used two interiors in the wide places and something he continued to great results with Silva and Nasri (who seriously became quietly great in Pellegrini's debut season). With Nasri suffering several small but long injuries over the course of this season, Pellegrini was forced to turn to Milner and Navas while changing his preferred tactical setup.

That meant more time for Navas to showcase his strengths and by extension, his weaknesses. His goalscoring rates are consistently touted as being disappointing and poor, yet they're largely in line with his career totals he compiled when he played for Sevilla. In fact, the season before he moved to City, when he was being touted as a great signing who brings a new component, he failed to score a single league goal (a feat he matched this season at City) while contributing six assists, all while playing 3318 minutes (an average rate of one assist per 553 minutes played). Well this season -- in which he was consistently criticized -- he contributed eight league assists in "just" 2248 minutes (an average rate of one assist per 281 minutes played): in other words, his assist rate was almost exactly twice as good as his last season in Spain.

So while Navas doesn't score (a fault that was rather perfectly showcased with his "miss" against United in April having been played through on goal), his end-product is not nearly bad enough to justify the vitriol that is sent his way. Furthermore, how many traditional wingers (read: non-inverted, wide-man playing on the side of his natural foot) are renowned for scoring goals? Goal-scoring wingers are more often than not played as inverted wingers who cut in and shoot on their strong foot. That's never been the case for Navas and as such it seems unfair to say he "should" score more. Should he? Why? He never scored more than five goals in his best season at Sevilla, a total he nearly matched in his debut season at City.

You know what? 470 words later and I've talked myself into that 7/10. Enjoy it, Jesús.