What a difference a year makes. One year ago, Scott Sinclair was bombing down the left wings of Swansea City in their first season in the Premier League. There was talk in many circles of a possible England call-up. The former Chelsea winger played on the Great Britain Olympic side, where he scored once in four games and impressed many with his performances. Weeks later he joined Manchester City for a transfer fee of £8 million. Since then, he has practically disappeared off the radar.
Clearly his move to Manchester city was a poor decision, one which I’m sure was motivated by money. Sinclair has moved from guaranteed first team football, being arguably one of Swansea’s best players, to rotting on the bench for Mancini. He has made zero league starts this season, and has played only 113 minutes in his 7 appearances as a sub in league matches. At Swansea last season, he had the second highest number of assists and goals. His lack of playing time has been detrimental to his ability and he needs to leave as soon as possible to have any chance to revive his career.
While Sinclair’s career could be ruined if he doesn’t get out soon, it’s his own fault. By getting in bed with City, he signed a Faustian pact. Not so much signing away his soul, but by signing away any chance of real playing time. He is the new Wayne Bridge of the Etihad, getting paid loads, but not stepping on the turf due to Mancini’s obvious distrust of the winger.
Eleven months ago he was involved in Swansea’s dramatic win over Manchester City in which he nearly scored. Now the closest he gets to the goal is when he gets off the bench and walks past it on the way to the tunnel at full-time. He has come out during his City career and stated he’s happy to wait for his chance. But we’re nearing the end of the season, and it still hasn’t come. Surely it’s time to cut his losses.
What we also can’t forget is this isn’t the first time Scott Sinclair has done this. In 2005, he moved from Bristol Rovers to Chelsea. In four seasons for the Blues, he made 13 appearances and was loaned out to six different clubs. It seems as long as he gets his paycheck, he is prepared to be second best and not get any playing time on the field.
I show no sympathy for the once rising star at Swansea. Many people would love to be a footballer with his ability, but he has thrown it away for money. This brings us to a bigger issue with football culture in general — from players to clubs to agents, it’s now all about the money. I doubt we will ever see the likes of Gerrard again, a player while offered more money has stayed at Anfield his whole career and truly loves the club. With multi-million pound TV deals, players wages soaring over £100,000 a week, football has changed. It’s no longer about playing for your local club, but how you can get the most money. Maybe Scott Sinclair isn’t to blame, but the entire modern football culture is the culprit instead.