Nine senior players ended the season out on loan. Should they stay or should they go? VMC runs the rule over the men Roberto Mancini must make decisions upon…Do they still have roles to play at Manchester City?
1. Joe Hart – Birmingham City
Hart was in terrific form for Brum last season to the extent that he was rewarded with international recognition under Fabio Capello. There’s little doubt now that Roberto Mancini will bring him back to Eastlands this summer now that Shay Given is out with a dislocated shoulder.
JB Verdict: KEEP. ‘Mancio has gone on record as saying that you need two top drawer ‘keepers in the Champions League. Well I reckon the same goes for a season comprising a Europa League campaign. If the gaffer can forge an agreement with Joe and Seamus, then the pair of them could realistically share the gloves across all four competitions next season. I’m sure Harty will give it everything to stake his claim to the shirt and given the chance in South Africa, will do England proud. We have to hold on to this lad.’
2. Shaleum Logan – Tranmere Rovers
Local boy Shaleum is coming to the end of a one year contract extension after 30+ loan appearances with Tranmere. He has been loaned out at Grimsby, Scunthorpe and Stockport over three years and still has only a couple of City appearances to his name.
JB Verdict: LET GO. ‘Considering what lies ahead of Shaleum in the City squad, I cannot see the lad getting another senior game in sky blue. I’ve always liked the look of him, Svennis did too, but you can’t help but feel that he’ll wish to move on.’
3. Kelvin Etuhu – Cardiff City
MCFC Academy graduate Etuhu’s loan spell at defeated Premier League Play Off finalists Cardiff ended yesterday at Wembley with a substitute appearance. A 3 month long injury saw him come back to Manchester for treatment restricting his starts with The Bluebirds to 16. There is a big question mark over his City future.
JB Verdict: LET GO. ‘Under various managers Kelvin hasn’t delivered consistently enough. Injuries have held him back the way they have done with the likes of Nedum Onuoha. I sense he’ll leave this summer.’
4. Vladmir Weiss – Bolton Wanderers
Contracted to City until the end of 2012, another Academy prodigy, the quicksilver and widely admired across Planet Blue Vladi has just completed a stop start few months with Bolton where he went for first team experience. He’s turned out 13 times for the Trotters as the Reebok club went through managerial upheaval. Any day now he will find out if he is on the plane to The World Cup with Slovakia to face the likes of Italy.
JB Verdict: KEEP. ‘Surely a player City would do well to hold on to. He’s got it all save for a consistent run in the side. I’ll be hacked off if he slips the City net. If he goes to South Africa, I would not be surprised to see him burst out into world recognition in what promises to be a very open tournament.’
5. Valeri Bojinov – Parma
24 year old Bojinov has fought back from two serious and previously career destructing injuries with City. He has been on a season long loan at Parma once it became clear that under Mark Hughes he wasn’t going to get a look in at City in the last campaign. He’s scored steadily enough in Serie A this season hitting 8 goals in 29 appearances.
JB Verdict: KEEP. ‘A VMC Forum favourite. I’m not alone in liking The Boj who earned a lot of respect from City fans for the way he battled back from those injuries. I was disappointed to see him go but it’s clear that Italy is like his second home and it’s where his heart is at. But his potential remains massive and I’d still keep him in my squad for his hatstand enthusiastic nutter approach. Be interesting to see what our dapper gaffer’s decision is. I also can’t stand watching players we have rehabilitated at length going up the road.’
6. Felipe Caicedo – Malaga
21 year old Ecuadorian Caicedo suddenly ballooned into a brick out-house Cyril Regis sized striker towards the end of the previous season showing potential. Vital Manchester City called for him to be kept on, but he went to Malaga and has done a sound enough job for them.
JB Verdict: KEEP. ‘This lad could still have a place at City as an impact striker. I’d have his power over Rocky Santa Cruz’s dreary form any day of the week. Like Santa Cruz, he will always get the international nod which can only improve him as a player. Mancio is eager for City to maintain a youthful squad. Don’t be surprised to see Big Cass back at City this summer. The reason I’m touting for The Boj and Cass to be offered another chance at City is that they know the club and should have the youthful hunger to win. These boys could save His Highness Sheikh Mansour a few quid. We also don’t have to sell.’
7. Jo – Galatasaray
Ashton New Road legend has it that Thaksin Shinwatra’s advisers bough the wrong striker during the black hole that spanned Sven-Goran Eriksson’s sacking and Mark Hughes’ appointment. They went to Moscow for the barnstorming Vagner Love and came back with Jo. Jo disgraced himself with off field indiscipline at City then on loan at Everton and Galatasary. Has hardly set the world on fire on his travels this season.
JB Verdict: LET GO. ‘Trouble with a capital T. Get rid as soon as possible. A terrible first touch, awful close control and a young big time charlie who needs some good advice.’
8. Benjani – Sunderland
Now the wrong side of 30, the likeable Zimbabwean has been crocked repeatedly since he joined City from Pompey and did not impress Steve Bruce at Sunderland during his loan this year.
JB Verdict: LET GO. ‘Taxi to Portsmouth. He’s a smashing bloke by all accounts but never in a million years will start for The Citizens again. Could do a job at Pompey and we’ll always respect him for those brilliant lone striker performances in the 2008 Munich Memorial derby and UEFA Cup win at Schalke.’
9. Robinho – Santos
The unpredictable but brilliantly talented Robinho continues to talk to the media of his wish to leave Manchester City. And that wish is likely to be granted this summer, particularly if he impresses at The World Cup.
JB Verdict: LET GO. ‘A great shame. City pulled out all the stops to make Robinho happy in Manchester but hand on heart I don’t think he ever fully put a shift in for us. Like many Blues, I desperately wanted him to be a success but it just wasn’t to be. The likes of Marseille are interested and if we can recoup close to £25 million of the £32 million we shelled out for him, I’d rip their hands off.’
Well, is Johnny talking bollercks? Maybe you’d like to keep all nine players, maybe even offload the lot! Give us your thoughts both here and in the VMC Forums!