If Tevez’ desire is met by his employers the pertinent question must follow, where do City go from here? This is not to say he is irreplaceable, in a team game no one player should ever achieve such status, but his dynamism, commitment and sheer proficiency would be sorely missed. Last term his account read 21 Premier League goals and six assists but his work ethic is what also defines his elevated stature. Essentially, the rest of the squad need to inherit his drive if they are to overturn their rivals – and champions – Manchester United.
Before even contemplating whom City would get to replace Tevez, the strikers already at the club should be relishing the chance to adopt the role of leading man. This is not to say a club as affluent as City would not directly re-invest the transfer fee, but Roberto Mancini would hope his other big names see this opportunity to become a cult hero. Clearly, two names come to mind – Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli – but the problem is reflected with just eight goals and three assists shared between the pair last campaign, so statistically at least, Tevez’ departure would create a big void.
The role Tevez plays should not be underestimated, not only is he their most prolific striker, but he is also the club’s captain. They have players with leadership qualities who can step up, Kolo Toure (upon return), Vincent Kompany and Nigel de Jong all come to mind, but as established, filling in all the cracks created from his departure is a big ask. Man City are ‘relaxed’ about the situation as it stands, but the one thing they would not want is to become lethargic about the situation, as a late August departure could be too disruptive.
Instant links are made to Sergio Aguero, and if there was one player who fits the Tevez mould, the Atletico striker is of that same ilk. He is athletic, powerful and boasts an impressive record in Spain, 74 goals in 175 games. Samuel Eto’o and Alexis Sanchez are ever-presents in Man City’s tabloid rumour allocation, but could either of those fill Tevez’s boots? It is the complete footballing package the Argentinean brings to Mancini which makes him so essential.
Like so often, it may prove a blessing in disguise, the lynchpin of a team departs and in his wake the remaining squad play with a renewed vigour, as their pillar of reliability is no longer on-call. Tevez has rescued Mancini’s side on countless occasions and finding someone with his complete repertoire may prove a tough ask. Following a season then where Man City made massive strides, has their talismanic captain now placed them in a perilous predicament?