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Will Jack Rodwell Become Another Forgotten Englishman Rotting Away On The Bench?

Team Great Britain 2012 Olympics football shirt controversy Union Jack Stella McCartney Will Jack Rodwell Become Another Forgotten Englishman Rotting Away On The Bench?

There is a top player inside Jack Rodwell… somewhere.

During his years at Everton he has shown, admittedly in glimpses, that he has virtually every attribute required in order to shine in the Premier League. He is naturally two footed, noticeably athletic, an elegant passer and particularly versatile. When he made his Everton debut five years ago, this potential was held in high regard by all those at the club and he was starting to demonstrate examples of this.

I recall watching him in a game against Fulham on the last day of the 2008/09 season and his performance was one of poise and maturity. I came away from the ground excited about this invigorating young English talent I’d just watched, who bossed a Premier League game at the age of just 18.

Since that season, I think its fair to say that midfielder hasn’t really developed that much. In some games he has flourished, but not many. He has scored some excellent goals, but not enough. And for all the potential and aforementioned attributes he possesses, he has never managed to put together a run of games in the Everton midfield, unable to dislodge the likes of Tim Cahill or Mikel Arteta, or more recently, Marouane Fellaini and Darron Gibson. This has come down to his poor injury record, or simply not being good enough to push for a first team place.

Despite this, throughout his short career he has drawn the attention of a lot of the top teams across Europe. None of which have felt prepared to take a punt on him until his move to Champions Manchester City in the last few days. It is the big move that many predicted Rodwell would undergo in his career when he burst on to the scene, but not quite in the same circumstances.

On the face of it, the deal for Rodwell (muted to be around £12m, with the opportunity to increase to £15m) looks to be a good bit of business for both of the clubs involved. Manchester City has another young English player to help meet their quota of ‘home grown’ players for their 25-man squad who could go on to be a very useful acquisition, whereas Everton have offloaded a player who was never really a first team regular for a sum they can invest in other areas of the team.

It seems the only party who may not be happy about the move is Rodwell himself. I’ve always said that the best way for Jack Rodwell to develop is with time on the pitch. For a young player, especially one who has been beset by injuries so far in his short career, this game time is crucial. Unfortunately for Rodwell, he has not received that yet.

Mancini himself has admitted that the 21-year-old is not ready for the Manchester City first team yet, and you have to wonder how long he will waiting for a regular spell in the side, or even an appearance. Will he really command a starting place in central midfield before the likes of Toure, Barry, De Jong, Milner and Nasri? Sure, he may get some playing time when some of his colleagues are in the Africa Cup of Nations, but that’s five months away. He will no doubt cast a nervy look at the likes of Adam Johnson, whose career now appears to have stagnated at the club after he himself signed for a hefty fee.

The bright potential Rodwell showed in his early years is not beyond rescue, but if he fails to get the game time at Manchester City which he so badly requires, then it could be extinguished altogether.

How do you see Rodwell fitting in to the City side? Will this be the start of a number of signings for City? Where will Everton look to strengthen with the funds received?

Follow me on Twitter: @13mattj13

This entry was posted in Everton, Leagues: EPL, Manchester City. Bookmark the permalink.

About Matt Jones

Matt has been writing for World Soccer Talk for more than two years, contributing pieces about myriad topics and regularly lending his voice to the podcast. Matt has covered games live for the website from a host of venues, including Wembley, London and the ANZ Stadium, Sydney. He is a regular at Goodison Park where he watches his beloved Everton, but harbours an unyielding interest in all aspects of European soccer. You can get in touch with Matt via e-mail at mattjones@worldsoccertalk.com or on Twitter @MattJFootball
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11 Responses to Will Jack Rodwell Become Another Forgotten Englishman Rotting Away On The Bench?

  1. Mike says:

    The only reason he was bought by City is to satisfy the home-grown quota for the Champions League. Mancini said so himself. He may get some time on the pitch when Yaya Toure is away for the Africans Cup of Nations. Otherwise he will see limited time.

    • Evan says:

      uhh Mancini did not say that. City already have enough homegrown players as it is.

      Rodwell was brought in as a replacement for Barry in 1 or 2 years.

    • Why? says:

      What a load of rubbish ‘Mancini said so himself’ when? Are you getting ‘home grown’ mix up with being English?If so City have more or as many as most.

  2. This is a great article, I would’ve thought a loan move to a team like Swansea would’ve been much more beneficial to him at this point. Perhaps the move to Man City will galvanise him to a higher level but I can’t help but think he’s going to spend a lot of time not playing and will never quite progress as he might have done. I hope I’m wrong!

  3. Stephen says:

    This move benefits Rodwells bank account, nothing more. They don’t need him and if I was a City fan I’d be utterly perplexed at this purchase. He’s a solid player, but no better than a club like Everton. Man City will swallow him up and spit him up for the League Cup.

  4. Steve says:

    Jack Rodwell was unable to hold down a regular place in the Everton first team. Sometimes he was unlucky with injury but ultimately inconsistancy and mistakes in his game far outstripped his increasingly rare moments of box to box midfield genuis that was tipped of him. At City, games will be even fewer and farther between. I think the Champions have made a huge gamble and the last twenty years has shown that more often than not, gambles on Everton players have proved to be mistakes as the players seem to lose something from their game on leaving Goodison Park, Rooney and Arteta excepted. I fear that by 2018 Rodwell will be at Stoke, Fulham or West Brom, telling the press that he is delighted to get the chance of first team Football after so long being a peripheral figure at Eastlands.

    • Why? says:

      To play at the top clubs you have to perform if he doesn’t he will be at another club in a year or two like you say. but if he does they World’s his oyster, that’s the challenge he has grasped with both hands. Opportunities at these clubs don’t come around every week it’s his big chance. He clearly believes in himself and if he’s good enough he will find a place just like Hart, Kompany and Richards etc.

  5. Colliahhh says:

    A bit of a baffling purchase. He has definitely shown potential to grow to be a great player. The homegrown criteria no doubt plays a big part in the sale, possibly paving the way for the departure of Johnson, as City have their own young player who is beginning to blossom in the academy, in the form of Ivorian, Abdul Razak, tipped by some to follow in Yaya Toure’s footsteps, playing in a similar position.

    Some have mooted the point that Rodwell may be moulded in a similar style as Kompany, as a midfielder-cum-centreback, to play in the experimental three across the back that Mancini has been toying with in pre-season. I don’t personally see that happening, more likely that he will face a lot of bench time until he drastically improves. The improvement might not be too far away however, with the increase of reserve team games promised for City this season providing the possibility for Rodwell to get game time, albeit not in the first team.

    As for the price-tag, there won’t be too many complaints from the City end, especially when you consider what has recently been paid for other English players *Ahem* Liverpool*Ahem* and the sort of signings that City are still paying for (literally) from the Hughes era..

  6. Paul says:

    Shaka Hislop made a great point on PressPass. Clubs like Chelsea and Man City care about result more than anything else. He made this point of Scott Sinclair too: Shawn Wright Philips was a better player than Sinclair before he moved to Chelsea. Once he moved there, his career went downhill.
    Rodwell should have gone to a team like United, liverpool, Arsenal or tottenham.

  7. Joe says:

    Ridiculous. Guess they need a kid on the team but what a waste of youth. He’s just some window dressing for the people to identify with.

    • Why? says:

      Don’t City have one of the youngest teams in the Prem? Why would ‘they need a kid’? and what does ‘He’s just some window dressing for the people to identify with’ mean? Strange.

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