With Alvaro Negredo completing his move to Manchester City last week, the Spaniard is finally getting a shot at the big time, a chance he thoroughly deserves. Since he moved to Sevilla, Negredo has fired in 70 goals in 139 games, which is an outstanding record at any level. There is no doubt in Negredo’s ability, but is he the man to lead Manchester City to Premier League and much needed European success?
As far as his game goes, Negredo is perhaps better suited to Premier League football than he ever was to the technically gifted La Liga. He is what some would call a typical English centre forward — strong, powerful and good in the air. One thing is for sure. Negredo will not be getting bullied by any centre backs. It will quite likely be the opposite. The Spaniard is a workhouse, an aggressive one at that; He will put constant pressure on defenders and never give them a rest.
Of course City fans will be more interested in his ability on the ball, an attribute that we can describe as inconsistent. In this respect, Negredo is not your typical Spaniard. With many estranged balls in his locker, Negredo’s passing certainly isn’t his forte, nor is his ability to skip past two or three men. He will leave this to compatriot Jesus Navas. However Negredo excels in what he needs to be good at — a trait that is much harder to accomplish on a consistent basis… scoring goals.
Negredo is a perfect fit for the Pellegrini model. He will work hard off the ball. More importantly, he will hold the ball up better than anyone allowing Pellegrini to implement solid transition phases. From here, the likes of David Silva and Fernandinho will be expected to split defense, before fellow new additions Jesus Navas and Stevan Jovetic deliver the ball into Negredo’s favored environment.
Negredo goes about his business very much in the penalty area where he seems to thrive the less time he has on the ball; a feature foreign players often struggle with when moving to England. Negredo is known for his ability in the air, and long term colleague Navas will be looking to exploit defenses with crosses to Negredo’s head. Here he is likely to cause serious damage to Premier League defenses, both from open play and set pieces.
All players have their downfalls, and I’m sure there will be times where City fans become frustrated with Negredo. The striker seems to struggle with finishing when given time to think. Therefore expect him to avoid long run-ins on goal for one-on-ones. Furthermore, certainly don’t expect Negredo to find the net from all angles as a Robin Van Persie might do. But it is clear to all that Negredo is one of the top strikers in the world, and while he will never join the top bracket of elite strikers (the likes of Robin van Persie, Luis Suarez and Radamel Falcao), there is no better player in the business for guaranteed consistent goals.
City were far from clinical last season (netting 27 less league goals than the previous season) and Negredo will go far to address this problem. He has become a guaranteed 20 goals a season man, and along with fellow new signing Stevan Jovetic, as well as Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko, City comfortably have the presence up front to cause serious damage on all fronts.