Carlos Tevez’s declaration on Argentinean radio last week that he wanted to leave Manchester City has put something of a dampener on the Blues’ fine end to the season. The news that their talisman is seeking an Eastlands exit has cast something of a shadow over the afterglow of the season’s achievements of FA Cup glory and a top four finish. The announcement, however, was hardly a surprise; Tevez has long professed to be homesick, missing his daughter back in South America, and had even talked at one stage of retiring from football altogether. A previous request to leave in December had been rebuffed, with everything apparently smoothed over, but question marks about the player’s relationship with Roberto Mancini have never entirely gone away.
Manchester City will obviously be concerned that the man who has scored almost a third of their league goals during his two seasons at the club appears to have played his last game in the famous blue shirt. A force of nature in attack, Tevez’s strength, speed, and phenomenal strike rate – 20 goals in 29 Premier League starts this season – have made him arguably one of the best strikers around in English football today. For all that he has been crucial to their ascent; however, there is an argument that Tevez’s departure could prove a blessing in disguise for Manchester City. Throughout his career, the Argentine has been a magnet for discord, rarely staying at one club for more than a couple of seasons before agitating for a move. Whether this is down to Tevez himself or down to those around him who stand to benefit financially from his many transfers is unclear, but perhaps removing that troublesome element would bring much-needed stability to City’s dressing room.
Champions League football might allow Mancini to bring in a top class replacement, but perhaps that replacement is already at the club; £27m was lavished on Edin Dzeko for a reason, and while his start in English football has been inauspicious to say the least, one does not become a bad player overnight. In the Bundesliga, Dzeko was deadly, both in the air and on the ground, and his strength, pace, and aerial ability suggested that he was tailor-made for the Premier League. Tevez’s departure could allow the Bosnian to take centre stage as the team’s focal point and target man, with the wide men in Mancini’s 4-2-3-1 providing the kind of service he thrived with at Wolfsburg.
There is no doubt that losing Carlos Tevez would be a blow to Manchester City. Yet the top clubs often bounce back from adversity to become all the stronger, and with the squad and resources at their disposal, the exit of their talisman might well prove to be the making of the blue half of English football’s current capital.