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The Case for Jesus Navas

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Spanish winger still has a key role to play

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Manchester City's Jesus Navas has come in for a storm of criticism on social media in the last week from both Blues supporters and neutrals. However, Navas from where I sit still has a critical role to play for Manuel Pellegrini's men. The Spanish winger has bags of pace and his movement with and without the ball have been a key factor in unlocking defenses in the first six Premier League matches.

With Raheem Sterling giving additional blistering pace down the other win or in the middle of the pitch, the Blues whose great failing last season was slow and methodical buildup play have speed to kill. While Navas' crossing has continued to be a sore spot (much like Adam Johnson and Scott Sinclair's were before his arrival at the club - City's last classy winger was Martin Petrov who departed in 2010), on counter attacks he can be lethal as he proved with the run and delivery he made for Sergio Aguero's goal in the 1-0 victory at White Hart Lane in May.

Navas is obviously a limited player in many ways, but to cast him aside is something Pellgrini should not and will not do. Role players like the former Sevilla man are an important part of title winning teams in England. Just ask Alex Ferguson about the likes of Nani, John O"Shea or Darren Fletcher. Even with the signing of Kevin De Bruyne, Navas' pace and ability to unlock entrenched defenses will be critical component for the Blues this season.

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