Recent reports suggested all was not well in Portugal for on-loan striker Filipe Caicedo, and that Sporting Lisbon were hoping to cut short his contract and send him back in January.
This, apparently, is unfounded and not the case. Signed with an option for a permanent deal, Caicedo is set to stay in Portugal until at least the end of the season, although Sporting are unlikely to sign him on a permanent basis.
Following a poor run of games after Sven-Goran Eriksson originally signed him from Basel in January 2008, Caicedo started to impress under Mark Hughes, notching up a reasonable tally of eight goals in 23 games for the Blues.
His time in Lisbon has not been so fruitful however, the promising young Ecuadorian having no goals to his name this season.
|Jan 08||Manchester City||10 games||0 goals|
|08-09||Manchester City||23 games||8 goals|
|09-10||Sporting Lisbon||7 games||0 goals|
With this in mind, what does the future hold for Felipe? With him returning to us at the end of the season, Mark Hughes will either look to cut our losses on the £5.2m signing, or give him a chance to fight for a place in the squad.
Caicedo is as inexperienced and rough around the edges as they come, but the boy does have skill. He may not be as influential as Torres or Drogba in deciding a game, but he does take out defenders- a lot like Emile Heskey.
Fortunately, unlike Emile, Felipe knows where the back of the net is, scoring some vital goals for us last season. The powerful hit man has a knack of coming away with the ball when all looks lost, his fleet-footedness belying a lad of his size.
People easily forget that Felipe is just 21-years-old and has plenty of potential to polish up his all round performances. With all the money we now have at our disposal, do we nurture his growth or bring in another talented hot prospect?
We already have a large strike force consisting of Adebayor, Tevez, Robinho, Santa-Cruz and Bellamy, but at the same time, we have no young strikers coming through the ranks who would be happy to sit on the bench and wait for their opportunity (à la Sturridge).
It really depends on two factors, if Mark Hughes thinks he is a good enough prospect to nurture and if Felipe is happy to wait in the wings for the odd Carling Cup appearance. If the answer is no to either of these, we can expect to see the Ecuadorian departing close season.
Would you be happy to see Felipe depart? Can he fight his way back into the City squad? Which new hot-prospect should Mark Hughes turn his attention to? Have your say NOW. Register here and enjoy getting involved.
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