Friday, 06/08/2021 08:04

Pep’s guessing game is a real sure thing

CITY BOUND: Harry Kane (left) and Jack Grealish look set to become Manchester City players. AFP Photo

Paul Kennedy

When a football club spends big on a player, there is always going to be an element of risk involved.

There is no guarantee that despite how good a particular individual looks, that he will be a success after a big money buy.

Sure, managers can look at form, analyse data, and try their best to work out if player A, B or C will be a good fit in their squad, system and style of play.

But at best they are making an educated guess, nothing more than an estimate as to whether the deal will come good. They really don't know for sure.

There are many calculated estimations that have failed to pay off.

Take Antoine Griezmann for example, the French international that was simply unstoppable the season before he joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid.

But since he arrived at the Nou Camp his performances have been disappointing.

Tino Werner at Chelsea is another example of an estimation gone wrong. He ripped up the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig, finishing his tenure with 95 goals, the club’s record goal scorer.

However after a season in the Premier League, he has flattered to deceive, and there is already talk of an early exit from Stamford Bridge.

By the time you read this column on Friday, chances are Jack Grealish will have signed for Manchester City in a deal thought to be in the region of $140 million.

Word on the street is Harry Kane will soon follow him from Tottenham to City for around the same chunk of change.

Kane’s refusal to meet up with his Spurs team preseason and affectively going on strike is as strong of a signal as you can get that he is on his way out, with City odds-on favourites to secure his signature.

However this time, I think there is no risk whatsoever to these two signings, which as a Liverpool supporter, absolutely terrifies me.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is actually gambling on not one, but two, sure things. His educated guess is, in my opinion, fact and I believe his estimations as to whether Grealish and Kane will be good fits, will pay off.

They are both amazing players, who have only ever played in the Premier League so are already fully aware of the rough and tumble, frantic task that lies ahead.

The only slight issue that could cause concern is their price tags, particularly in the case of 25-year-old Grealish.

If the signing does go through, and all indicators suggest that it will, he will become Britain’s most expensive player, but that said, Guardiola is the best man for the job of keeping his feet on the ground.

So what does that mean for next season? Should we just sit back and accept that City will once again be crowned champions? Probably.

I for one have no doubt that whoever manages to finish one place above them, come the end of the season, will surely win the league.

I’d like to think that team will be Liverpool, but then again, that would just be my own misguided estimation. VNS

Comments (0)

Related content