Manchester City’s Summer 2012 Shopping List

Well, now that’s done, let’s get to the good stuff, shall we? Manchester City won the league in emphatic fashion on Sunday, though their loyal fans had to wait until stoppage time against a side fighting relegation to celebrate. And celebrate they did. Supporters swarmed the pitch, with players unable to hide their delight at finally toppling their cross-town neighbors, ending 50 years of hurt. But the methodical Roberto Mancini was wasting no time. On to the next season, preparation for pre-season, and a few difficult decisions await him. To make his load easier, I’ve helped him by making a list of players to waste money on this summer. The Italian desperately needs to replace Roque Santa Cruz and David “We Signed Him on a Risk-Free Loan” Pizzaro, and I have better things to do, but here goes nothing. Feel free to help Mancini as well by swearing me out in the comments section below. I want everyone to feel included.

I am also methodical, though I am neither Italian, nor a recipient of a seven figure pay check. I’ve divided the areas Mancini needs to address into areas of the pitch, which is a novel idea, and I expect many to follow suit. Here it goes.


Joe Hart, the colorful youth product of Shrewsbury Town, has a firm grasp on the number 1 spot at the Etihad Stadium, as well as the other grounds his side travels to next season. Ever since his impressive loan spell at Birmingham City, Hart has been first choice for club and country, and none of that should change. His backup, the impressively-named Costel Pantillimon, has looked solid in cup matches, and seems content deputizing for Hart when necessary. Surely an improvement on Martin Fulop.


In the full back areas, no purchases are necessary. Micah Richards rediscovered the form that saw him break into the England side at 19, while his deputy, Pablo Zabaleta, was solid backup. At left back, Clichy justified his low price tag in defence, while Kolarov’s cup cameos were just as productive.

At center back, Stefan Savic, though earning me extra points for alliteration, serves very little purpose in the City squad other than being a royal screw-up. That is often mitigated by the fact that Vincent Kompany was voted Player of the Year by the FA, Kolo Toure is really intimidating, and Joleon Lescott is left-footed, British, and thuggy, therefore deserves a spot in any team. However, with Lescott nearly costing City the league on Sunday, Toure never looking like the same player since his malaria infection in 2004, and Kompany the only mainstay, Mancini should look elsewhere for reinforcements at the back. But where?

Giorgio Chiellini, the Italian international, has had a phenomenal season, leading Juventus to an unbeaten season and filling in at left back when needed. He is the first name on the team sheet, and traditionally has dominated encounters with top strikers such as Ibrahimovic and Cavani. With fellow Italians Mancini and Balotelli already at City, the next season may be the opportunity for Giorgio Chiellini to announce himself to the rest of the world, which is the sporting equivalent of England. Giorgio Chiellini may have the opportunity to show English fans he is a good player. That’s what I was trying to say.

However, he is settled at Juventus, having just won Serie A legitimately for the first time. Where else to look?

Sunny Spain is where Alberto Botia plays for Sporting Gijon, and evidence points to him being a good signing for the Citizens. The Barcelona youth product has had an impressive few seasons at the heart of his club’s defense since Gijon’s promotion in 2008, which has sparked interest from none other than his former club. Next season, Sporting will be in the second tier of Spanish football, and Botia will not want to be among them. It is counterintuitive- a reinforcement at the Etihad Stadium on the cheap- but it might just work. Chances are he’s better than Stefan Savic.

Other options lie in Udinese’s Moroccan center back Mehdi Benatia, whose name is fun to say and has been linked with Manchester United, Shakhtar’s Yaroslav Rakitsky, and Stephane M’Bia of Marseille.


Undoubtedly, Manchester City’s midfield with Nasri, Silva, De Jong, Yaya Toure, Barry, Milner and er, Owen Hargreaves is the best in the country. To add to the riches, City possess a promising lad in the youth team by the name of Michael Johnson, who based on his performances on loan at Leicester City, merits a shot at first-team football. Joking aside, City could do with an extra midfielder, not least because Bobby doesn’t have enough of them to defend a 2-0 lead against Fulham.

A backup for the destructive Yaya Toure could go a long way. Who? A French-African midfielder fits the bill and City could do far worse than Moussa Sissoko. The French international is only 22, but has made close to 200 appearances for Toulouse. He has plenty of experience, being one of the goody-goodies who didn’t fall out with Raymond Domenech in South Africa. Sissoko has been linked to Manchester City in the past, though a €30 million price tag was enough to dilute interest. However, the opportunity to work with Yaya Toure, and a shot at Champions League glory may be too much for the young Frenchman to turn down this time around. He was first used a holding player, but is now mainly used further forward. Sound familiar?

I’m required to list other options, though if Manchester City want something, they’ll get it. They’ll just go and grab it. Oh, Eden Hazard- who shares a Christian name with Dzeko- has gone and added heat to the race for his signature by revealing he will sign for one, and only one, Manchester side this summer. Metaphorically, he could walk into any team in the world, and City would be glad to have the opportunity to open that door for him. Metaphorically. But that’s still a saga, and it is oh so suspenseful. Expect whipped cream to be involved, and it will be in abundance if Hazard plays behind Balotelli and Tevez in an attacking trident. Three big personalities right there.

If a move for Sissoko doesn’t work out, alternatives include Stephane M’Bia, equally adept as a defender, and Esteban Cambiasso. If Hazard becomes a red, breaking the bank for Mario Goetze or Lavezzi would be an adequate answer… breaking the bank, who am I kidding?


This is the most controversial area, and it makes me want to add a pun in reference to Balotelli and scoring, but I’ve said too much already. The signing of Aguero last summer added one of the world’s top forwards to a side already possessing Dzeko, Balotelli, and Tevez. However, with Dzeko being Dzeko, Balotelli not running out of crazy things to do, and Tevez pursuing an alternative career in golf, Kun Aguero was the only reliable forward for the duration of the season. And while they all came together in the end- Tevez making up with Mancini, Dzeko not being rubbish, and Balotelli putting his bad-boy act on hold- there is a good chance that past problems will plague City again. I’d love to go ahead and be blunt, actually. City does not have enough strikers. They need more. Must obey…

John Guidetti, young and Swedish, was absolutely electric on loan at Feyenoord, scoring a lot and impressing many in 6 months. His tally of 20 goals in 23 games merits a chance of first team football at the Etihad Stadium, and it would prove many doubters wrong if a multi-million pound signing and a youth team product were the first-choice strike partnership for the Premier League champions. Of course, that is the case currently for Manchester United: Danny Welbeck came back from a loan spell at Sunderland to replace Javier Hernandez in the starting 11. Guidetti may just be next season’s Welbeck.

Other options include David Villa, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo, Cavani, Andy Carroll (?), Falcao, Neymar, Messi, Eto’o, Jesus Christ, and the emotion “fear”. Might as well.

Am I missing anything? Ah, yes.

The Manager:

No changes necessary here.

21 thoughts on “Manchester City’s Summer 2012 Shopping List”

    1. Mancini has already said he wants to buy on the levels of Real Madrid and Barca this summer. And this wasn’t months ago, this was one or two days ago! It’s time to accept the fact that City want to position themselves to be able to buy whomever they want, whenever they want. City has put themselves on a fast track to become the Barca/Real Madrid model to the premier league.

      There are only two questions: 1) Will the best in the world want to come play for them? 2) Will the FA step in and stop clubs from running roughshod over the rest of the league with their unlimited amounts of money?

      1. Man United are already the “Barca/Real” of the PL b/c they win all the time. Silly statement.

        Why would the FA stop spending? They are in no position to regulate that.

        1. You have a point.

          However, winning is not the same as spending. ManU don’t have a history of spending to bring in the best in the world (CR7 being the exception) but rather the best in England. And as we know, English players notoriously command very little in terms of transfer fees.

          Could this be the point when City makes a list of the best players in the world, and then buys them at will? Not only because they have the cash to do so, but because they’ve created a culture where the best players want to choose city over every other club. It’s no surprise that RM and Barca hold the top 5 or 5 of the top 6 transfer fee records. Hence my connection there.

          If Hazard joins United, instead of City, I’d be much more skeptical. But, as most suspect, he’ll probably join City and MAY spark the beginning of City competing, transfer wise, money wise, on a continental or world level with the clubs who have dominated those markets for the past decade.

          1. The fee’s for English players are overinflated!!! Your comment regarding this is not in line with recent history.

            Man United have bought Vidic, De Gea, Hernandez, Stam, Van Nistelrooy, Blanc, Evra, Berbatov, Ronaldo, Anderson, Veron, Van Der Sar, Saha, Rooney, Carrick, Ferdinand, Cole, Yorke, Keane, Sheringham etc. The list goes on. To say United don’t have a history of spending makes no sense in the context of your argument.

            City already are contending in the market for players. You think luring away Yaya Toure from Barcelona isn’t a sign of power? City have to keep winning and do much, much better in the CL which is not a competition Mancini has done well in while at Inter and this year with City.

      2. Hazard IMO is world class. Aguero is very close to it. I think City can attract the worlds best because of their project: it’s different when you lead a side like United to glory, with decades of glory preceding, than when you’re part of something with a point to prove. Then there’s Champions League football to look forward to. In terms of FFF, my friend with a business degree struggles to explain it to me. City’s spending can cause inflation in the market which in turn can hurt most other premier league sides, so it’d be nice if SOME sort of social reform can finally take place in England. Agree with you on that, Alex.

  1. Or both. If there’s one thing City loves, it’s spending money. I would be shocked if they went for a player like Guidetti though, it seems like they like to wait and pay big $$$$$ later.

    And on another note, I’m gonna be PO’d if Hazard goes to City. Just like I was last year when Nasri went.

    1. You may have missed the point on Guidetti – he’s a City player, on loan to Feyenoord.

      Greg is simply stating that he warrants some first-team time if they decide to hold onto him (although I know there’s an additional 6 month option for him with Feyenoord – not sure what will occur there, or who can call that in).

  2. Witty, informed and spell-checked. Well done! In terms of who they buy, unfortunately (for the league) I think City may end up going with “all of the above”.


  4. Hey, great article! Very informative and well-written.

    Supposedly Hazard is strongly leaning our way at the moment. But I’d be thrilled with Sissoko as well. I spend a bit of time in France and have gotten to see both of them play in person.

    Eto’o is an interesting thought and I had not heard that before. Anzhi Makhachkala did not seem to get a lot out of that investment this year. And that billionaire oligarch who owns Anzhi is not quite Abramovich wealthy. You wonder how long he wants to pay first-world prices in order to have a club playing in a war zone.

  5. The Manchester Evening News is running a story today saying that City will sign Hazard and RVP for a combined £60m. I personally don’t see them signing RVP although it would be fun to wind up the Arsenal fans! They don’t need him unless they get rid of one of 4 strikers they have. We know Balotelli and Aguero are staying 101% (Mancini) Tevez looks like staying it to unless Milan come in with a real good offer (which they won’t), Dzeko I’m not sure about, but if one does go I think they will give Guidetti a go as 4th place striker as the ones left are easily capable of scoring 60-80 goals between the 3 of them.

    I personally think they will sign 2 or maybe even 3 players this summer 1 being solely for back up.
    Hazard makes sense as they need a winger more than any other kind of player as lack of width this year was clear for all to see.
    They need cover for Silva more than Yaya, but they were playing Tevez in this role so maybe they won’t sign a midfielder although I would love Lavezzi I have watched him a few times this season he’s been top notch.
    On the defender front they need cover at centre half as Savic did look very nervous when needed in mid season and ended up making mistake after mistake but at the age of 20 will get more confidence with time, he looks a good player so well worth keeping.

    Micheal Johnson hasn’t done well at all by the way and is not to young anymore either at 24. He was amazing when first on the scene but it seems it all went to his head a was seen many a night telling the ladys who he was at 3 in the morning in 5th Avenue (nightclub). His weight went up as his stock went down. Good article though.

  6. I think there should be some investment in the backline. I’d love to see Vermaelen brought in from Arsenal as I think we need the defensive depth to compete in Champions League and Lescott becoming more of a reserve would help that.

    Midfield is confusing to me to say the least. When Ya Ya Toure isn’t involved things tend to get bogged down. Our form in January when he was in Africa showed that and when he was taken out of the match last Sunday I could see nothing but doom. I don’t have an immediate answer to who or what can be done to give the club more depth there but this should be addressed above all other things.

    Strikers are good as long as Tevez buys in fully and Dzeko continues to adjust (I preach patience here, the boy is good). I suppose there should be a plan for when Ballotelli finally decides he’s had enough and heads back to the fifth dimension. I love him but he could cost the club and I’m not sure the risk is worth the reward.

    Manager is solid. Mancini has proven he’s the man with a plan.

    The future is bright.

  7. m disagree with mancini’s plan to waste money to buy zlatan ibrahimovic who is old. Mancini also offering him 300k p/week????? FU man. He’s 30 already. Man C already hv a good squad. The club should invest on young talents. Mancini should be sacked after next season because I don’t think Man C will qualify for CL. He’s a stupid manager.

    1. Do you really think they want him? Then surely they also want RVP,Llorente, Falco, Cavani, Lavezzi and Hazzard to name just a few and won’t they all be on £300k a week each? All these have been linked in the last 24 hours, do you reckon it may not be true and simply speculation? You will know haul the sign when they sign what your reading is pure fantasy unless it happens.

  8. i think mancin should not leave dzeko and keep in touch with balotel,also on defending line should employe chivu
    and mancin should not spend a lot of money for other new players

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