With the arrival of Joleon Lescott, speculation has increased that Richard Dunne may be leaving the club, while Ben Haim is being linked with a season-long loan to Portsmouth.
The Daily Mail earlier claimed that Aston Villa have agreed a Ã‚Â£6m fee for Dunne, and this has since appeared in The Guardian. As of today Kolo Toure and Joleon Lescott look set to be our first choice centre back pairing and it’s doubtful if Dunne will be happy with a place on the bench in a World Cup year. Giovanni Trapattoni’s Republic of Ireland are well placed in their qualification group and Dunne wouldn’t want to miss out.
Nedum Onuoha has recently inked a contract extension to confirm the management have faith in his abilities. With Vincent Kompany also a more than capable centre-half, Dunne may be considered expendable by Hughes. It’s hard on the loyal servant, but there are decent options available to him. One problem could be whether potential suitors would match the wages the Irishman is currently on. If they do, it could mean a fond farewell to the Joe Royle signing.
A place in the top six may have been the target that Khaldoon Al Mubarak officially set at the start of the Summer, but there’s little doubt the new signings are aiming higher. At his unveiling today, Joleon Lescott spoke along similar lines:
“The money doesn’t mean anything to the players – we just want to be part of something successful here.
“Everyone outside top four are aiming for the same thing. I think Man City are better equipped to do that quicker than Everton and that’s why I’m here.”
The controversy around the move isn’t something Lescott sought, but inevitably he was questioned about Moyes’ criticism of him.
“I was disappointed in the comments.”
“I feel they were inaccurate. I’d like to address them at a later date and talk more positively about my move.”
“I don’t think I disrespected any of the players – if I did I apologise.”
“Now I’m looking forward to doing my all for Man City.”
A delighted Hughes talked up his new signing:
“Joleon it arguably the best centre-half in the Premier League and can be for many years to come. He was key to what we were trying to do.
“I was really keen to bring him here and we’re looking forward to many years together.”
I’m not sure many others would agree he is quite that good, however he should give balance and added strength to our defence. It remains to be seen if Lescott looks as good in a Hughes team that often gets stretched, as he did in the compact and disciplined defence which Moyes employs.
His goalscoring prowess at set pieces may also be hard to replicate away from an Everton side that had a far greater emphasis on that side of the game. It would be a welcome change if City could consistently deliver dangerous crosses from dead ball situations.
Overall, Lescott could prove a crucial signing in a position that has never been properly filled since Sylvain Distin parted for Pompey. Added solidity at the back could be just what we need to make a serious challenge for the top four – this season!
Interview with Joleon Lescott
The former Arsenal and Barcelona wing-back spoke positively about joining City.
“It’s a good time to be here. It’s an exciting time for the club. I’m really proud to be here again, in the Premier League.
“When I played for Arsenal it improved my game a lot. When you come to the Premier League you improve and play better. I think it will help me again.
“I know I can help with the team and I know they can help me. I know I can help, but I’m not thinking about the first team. I’m just going to do my work and that’s it.
“I could play maybe four or five years more. You never know.”
“I have a contract for a year, so I am very happy. I will just try to help the team. It’s a good time to be here at this club. I will help to make the club even bigger than they are.
“I believe in the project and I believe in the coach. I believe we can do a lot of things in the future.”
Sylvinho on Wikipedia
City are giving a week’s trial to Danijel Aleksic, an 18 year-old Serbian striker who made history last year by appearing in the Under-17, Under-19, Under-21 and full national squads.
According to Sky Sports, City have been monitoring him for two years, but his parents were understandably not keen on him travelling to England at 16. He is currently with Serbian club Vojvodina, and has been linked with Ajax, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Villareal and no doubt a few others.
According to a report in the Daily Mail this morning we have already agreed a Ã‚Â£6m deal for the youngster, but this seems a bit premature.
With both Ched Evans and Danniel Sturridge leaving in the Summer, City are short of young forwards pushing for the first team. Those in last year’s youth side look to need more experience. Aleksic could be the striker to fill the Sturridge sized gap in our squad.
YouTube video of Danijel Aleksic