Are City set to sign a second striker after Balotelli?
With Mario Balotelli set to join the club and Roque Santa Cruz looking like the striker to make way out of last season’s first team squad it might be reasonable to assume they’re a straight swap. Yet is that the case?
Despite his powerful physique, Balotelli doesn’t play the role of target man which Santa Cruz was supposed to fill. Instead the positions he occupies are closer to those of Craig Bellamy. Namely he’s primarily a striker but often played on the flanks where his pace, skill and powerful shooting allow him to cut in and augment the strikers.
We’ve spent much of the summer linked with Edin Dzeko and to a less extent Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Either of these would be a more natural replacement for Santa Cruz, and offer a step up in quality. They would also offer greater experience and consistency than we could expect from Balotelli.
Therefore it might be reasonable to assume that we will return for one of these two strikers once our negotiating team have finished with the Balotelli and Milner deals.
It’s worth noting that our interest in Balotelli was only stepped up once our advances on Torres had apparently been rebuffed. Getting Torres was always likely to be a bonus rather than a key signing. Balotelli is similar in that he isn’t likely to be fundamental to our side for next year. He’s a player to provide impact in bursts, possibly from the bench, while he matures and settles into the Premier League.
If we bring in Balotelli and a target man then the pressure on places is likely to be intense. Speculation about Adebayor will increase, though Bellamy’s role on the left might be the one under greater threat from Silva, Balotelli and Adam Johnson.
It doesn’t take much for the media to link Bellamy or Adebayor with moves away from City, yet in the squad article it was clear how they can both make the cut even if we do sign Balotelli and another striker. It’s to be hoped they do stick around as strength of squad could be vital in the upcoming season.
- Do you think City will sign another striker on top of Balotelli?