Manchester City: Sevilla in on Navas

With Pep Guardiola confirmed the new Manchester City manager at the end of the season, other clubs appear to be hoping for a player clearout.

Those following the saga of Pep Guardiola at the head of the Manchester City machine are probably sick to death of reading about the players he wants to bring in. Especially as he isn’t even in charge yet. Is anybody really safe? He wants Lionel Messi, Neymar, Christiano Ronaldo (Heaven forbid) and zombie George Best for starters, after that he’ll look at improving things at the back by having Sheikh Mansour buy out Bayern Munich and transfer the squad across to the Etihad. It’s madness.

One thing is for certain though, Pep is very likely to make some big changes when he finally arrives. With Manchester City slumping, both collectively and individually, Guardiola will have unlimited resources at his disposal to turn things around. Ultimately though, that’s going to mean a mass shedding of unwanted or unrequired talent to make way for his blockbuster signings. So, in a way, it’s kind of to be expected that it would be equally likely that rumours would surface of other teams eyeing possible candidates at Manchester City, for when Pep comes to town.

With that in mind, it seems Sevilla are interested in possibly getting a good deal on a transfer for City winger Jesus Navas, as reported by eatsleepsport.com;

“Sevilla are trying to negotiate a cut-price deal to take Manchester City winger Jesus Navas back to Spain this summer.

The La Liga outfit’s sporting director ‘Monchi’ is keen to re-sign the diminutive winger who he sold to City for just under £15million in June 2013.”

As stated, Navas, a Spaniard, came from the Spanish side to City back in 2013 where he got off to a fairly good start. In the 2013/2014 season Navas managed six goals, the second highest per season in his career and some thirteen assists. Not amazing, but certainly more than serviceable. After that, Jesus’ performances were all various shades of meh, managing only one goal and eleven assists in 2014/2015 (in only three less appearances) and that’s only the beginning.

Now, if you’re thinking that you haven’t seen Navas for a good long while, that’s possibly because of two reasons – he’s been injured since February 2 and, perhaps more prominently, he had failed to make any lasting contribution to a game since January 9. In his last ten games, Navas has provided one assist and one goal, his only goal of the season so far. His Premier League statistics for the year are even more damning, a mere three assists and goose egg goals from a full thirteen appearances. Not for lack of trying, Navas did attempt some 21 shots in the league, but a mere 6 of these were actually on target.

So you see, Navas hasn’t exactly set the world alight at Manchester City and it’s not hard to imagine he could fall through the cracks of Pep’s summer plans. Mind you, as we’ve discussed before, others are equally as likely to follow suit. In this case however, it seems likely that if Sevilla are genuinely interested in bringing the 30 year old back to Spain,  it should certainly be doable. Indeed, even under Pellegrini, Navas has struggled to hold down a permanent slot in the line-up. Given Pellegrini’s reputation as a tinkerman, this probably doesn’t cause you much surprise, but if he had the quality of say, Kevin De Bruyne or Sergio Aguero, he’d be on every game.

The bottom line is that he doesn’t. Navas has been a thoroughly average and totally replaceable player on the City wing and if you got Samir Nasri to wear a “15 Navas” shirt, many wouldn’t notice the difference. I’m not saying Navas is a bad player, or even a mediocre player. He’s been a solid part of the Spanish national team since 2009 and helped take them to a World Cup in 2010 and a Euro in 2012. He just never found his place in Manchester City, both in the starting line-up and in his performances. It may not be so bad at all for him if his home team, the team he grew up with, are interested in bringing him back.

For now though, assuming he can come back from injury in time, Navas has a role in helping turn around City’s fortunes in both League and Cups. With an injury ravaged squad taking its toll on Pellegrini’s men, now may be the time for Navas to prove himself and help ensure success at the Etihad this year. Until then, he joins us in reading the endless rumours about the tenure of Pep Guardiola at City.