Every team has a player who the fans see as their knight in shining armor. Thousands call upon this player hoping to spark a response from the hero. Last season, Manchester City’s hero was Carlos Tevez. However, if City’s top scorer of last season is to leave this summer, which he desires, who will wear City’s crown?
There were many players that shone for the Sky Blues last year. Firstly, Vincent Kompany was regarded as one of the players of the season as a result of his stellar performances at centre-back. Moreover, the Belgian has earned praise from one of the most consistent Premier League defenders of all time, Martin Keown. The Arsenal legend believes that Kompany is the finest defender in the world’s greatest league.
Yaya Toure is another imposing figure in City’s astronomically expensive squad. In his debut season with the blue side of Manchester, the Ivorian showed much more attacking flair than anyone saw during his time at Barcelona.
Additionally, he is responsible for Manchester City’s defining moments of last season. Firstly, he scored the winner against bitter rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup Semi-Final. The victory amplified the voice of the ‘noisy neighbours’ so much that the idea of Manchester City challenging for the Premier League title this upcoming season cannot simply be dismissed. Secondly, Yaya was also the man to give City their first major trophy in 35 years, thundering the ball past Stoke City’s Thomas Sorensen in the FA Cup final. Consequently, his reputation is growing as large as his bank account.
Another City player that grabbed the media’s attention is David Silva. When he was first signed, skeptics argued that he didn’t have the physical prowess for the Premier League. However, the diminutive Spanish winger made it his stomping ground. Many have praised him for his guile and artistry, giving Mancini’s side an ‘edge’ to their game. Tallying up 15 assists last season proves that he is a valuable asset to the team.
However, some Manchester City fans may be looking for a new hero in Sergio Aguero. The £38million signing has been well received and many see him as an ideal replacement for Carlos Tevez. Encouragingly for City fans, Sergio Aguero has vowed to revolutionise the ‘beautiful game’ stating, “I’m the Che Guevara of modern football.”
If any City fans were watching this year’s Copa America, then they have seen how clinical Sergio Aguero can be. His stunning volley against Bolivia is strong evidence. During the tournament, the 23-year-old was certainly the outstanding player of the Argentinean team. The forward does have a range of skills and everyone connected to the Etihad Stadium will be eagerly anticipating his Premier League debut.
So who will carry the baton at Manchester City? Well, these four players are the most obvious choices. Yet, there could be other players ready to rise to the challenge. The Citizens are a side with strength, and quality, in-depth.
Edin Dzeko is one player who needs to step up. With Carlos Tevez unsettled, the £27million signing could be playing more regularly. Dzeko’s form last season was largely inconsistent, but it will be his performances in this sophomore season that will lead to a fair judgement of the Bosnian.
Adam Johnson has shown fans glimpses of his undoubted potential, but has failed to secure a starting spot. Despite this, the England international was clearly delighted to hear that he remains in Mancini’s plans. If Johnson continues to impress whilst on the pitch, the agile winger could very well be one of the first names on the team sheet.
In addition, Mario Balotelli is another player with exceptional ability. However, as many have heard or seen, he is all too often at the centre of controversy. Plus, his announced dislike for the city of Manchester hasn’t done him any favours. Despite his claims that he is already one of the world’s best, the temperamental Italian is a diamond in the rough. Nevertheless, with more maturity and professionalism, Balotelli could be a real gem.
For all that, what if Carlos Tevez is to stay? What if no club is willing to meet his valuation? Tevez is a top-class scorer and that could warrant him a place in the starting eleven as Mancini prepares his side for a title push. Still, will the City fans still hold him in high regard or will they look past Tevez’s brave façade?
In conclusion, there are many players in the City squad that could become the new hero at the Etihad Stadium. This article has put a focus on the attacking-minded players, but what if it is to be a defensive player? Along with Kompany, Nigel De Jong has been praised for his defensive duties. Furthermore, is there a player that I haven’t mentioned who should be considered? The Community Shield should give us an early indication of who to look out for in the 2011/12 season.