Is this the answer to Manchester City’s strike problems?
The club’s long-term pursuit of Robin van Persie and links with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain hint that Roberto Mancini is far from happy with his current strike-line, and is looking to bolster his options. However, instead of delving into the transfer market, the solution may be very close to home, in the shape of John Guidetti.
The 20-year-old Swedish international has been long talked about as a star of the future, with his prowess in front of goal and physical abilities suggesting that he could be a top-level striker. So why are City looking at expensive reinforcements when they could hand their home-grown starlet a shot at the first-team?
There’s no doubting that Mancini is rather blessed when it comes to attacking options. In Sergio Aguero he has, arguably, one of the most feared hit-men in the Premier League, backed up by Mario Balotelli, who on his day is a breath-taking footballer. Behind these two there is Edin Dzeko, whose physicality and ability in the air give City a different dimension and Carlos Tevez, who when available, provides a great link between the midfield and strike-line. With all of these options, can the Citizens really shoe-horn in another star name? Probably not.
This is where Guidetti comes in. After displaying the full range of his abilities in the Eredivisie last term with Feyenoord, the young Swede is ready to step up and offer his services to the first-team. He may not be the complete article, but with an impressive strike rate in Holland, 20 goals in 23 appearances, there is no doubt that he can offer something to his Italian manager.
He is, maybe, a bit too raw to be thrown in at the deep end with a club of City’s stature, but playing backup to the names already present within the squad would be a role that he could thrive in. With the club needing to compete in both domestic cup competitions, the Premier League and the Champions League, a large squad, full of players who are willing to perform when called upon is vital, and Guidetti could fit into this system. As a fiercely ambitious character, when chosen, there is little doubt that he will give his all for the cause, and that is what is needed in some of the smaller competitions.
He is also a man for the big occasions, which again is always needed when competing for honours. In the glamour tie of last season’s Dutch league, Guidetti bagged a hat-trick against Ajax, helping his team to a 4-2 victory, somewhat against the odds. Many young players would be overawed in such a situation, but the way the Scandinavian striker took it within his stride is testament to his ability.
Manchester City may not need to delve further into the transfer market for a striker this season, and could instead save themselves some cash by giving John Guidetti a chance. Money may not be tight at the Etihad Stadium, but the young Swede offers what the club needs without any investment.
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