Striker transfers – Santa Cruz, Dzeko and the rest
In terms of possible striker transfers, this week feels like the calm after last week’s Wayne Rooney storm. Roque Santa Cruz has been quoted saying he’s up for a move in January to try and get first team football. Tell us something we don’t know!
Roque also reveals that Carlos Tevez misses his family in Argentina. Once again it’s hardly a revelation. The Mail report that we’re looking again at Edin Dzeko following Rooney’s decision to stay put.
Only time will tell whether there’s any real substance to this. However it does raise the question of how Mancini and the club see the striking situation.
Tevez and Balotelli are definitely part of Mancini’s long term plans. Santa Cruz and Bellamy definitely aren’t.
Our interest in Rooney shows the club are still in the market for a top quality striker. This is the interesting bit. His signing would have given Mancini a selection and tactical headache.
Tevez and Rooney play a similar role, and neither is at a stage in their career where they would be happy on the bench or shunted out wide. If you look at their relatively poor goalscoring records when at Old Trafford together and compare them with last season, it’s clear they’ve done better apart. Even if they did win the Champions League together, Ronaldo was the dominant attacker then.
Adebayor, Santa Cruz and Jo have all failed in the role of more conventional leaders of the line, and someone with a physical and aerial presence would make more sense as a signing. Too often our crosses fail to reach any target. Consequently a return for Dzeko is understandable.
The signing of the Bosnian, or any other quality striker, is likely to push Adebayor closer to the exit door. Again this is hardly a revelation, and the player has spoken of a possible move away.
Milan have been linked but this is hard to see now they have Ibrahimovic. Juve could be a more likely destination.
Mancini appears happy to keep Jo as a fourth choice striker who can cover for the others in lesser games. Jo may not be a fans favourite but it wouldn’t be easy to find a quality replacement who is willing to accept such limited opportunities.
The position of fourth choice would be better filled by a promising young player. Unfortunately we don’t have one since Sturridge left, so Jo could be here till the Summer at least.
At 24, Dzeko would fit with the club’s policy of signing quality players with their best years ahead of them. Tevez, Balotelli and Dzeko could lead our attack for several seasons to come.
Having a long term strikeforce in place prior to Financial Fair Play would be a huge asset to the club. What we are allowed to spend could then be focused on other areas of the team. For example, next Summer will see a replacement for Vieira required.
Future years are likely to see City bidding for only one or two top quality young players as we maintain a settled squad, supplemented by homegrown youngsters. It’s a strategy already in place at Chelsea.