A quiet few days at Manchester City due to their failure to retain the FA Cup after falling at the first hurdle must have been relaxing for the players, staff and supporters at the club. A terrific comeback at Porto in midweek ensured they have one foot in the next round of the Europa League and can afford to rest a few key players ahead of the second leg on Wednesday which has an unsociable 5pm kick off at the Etihad Stadium, cue even more empty seats than usual for the Citizens.
The Premier League leaders had a predictably quiet January transfer window as the current squad is more than coping with the tag of ‘title contenders’ and the arrival of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rulings that require clubs to balance their books at the end of the season. One story that won’t go away however is the tedious Carlos Tevez affair that every football fan is now wholeheartedly bored of – but don’t stop reading now, this is not another will he or won’t he piece, but more looking to the future without the mercenary.
After Roberto Mancini stated just a few months ago that the Argentinean striker would never play for City again they are certain to get rid in the summer. But with the before mentioned FFP ruling in place next season it may not be worthwhile Mancini splashing the cash for a replacement.
In fact, the Champions elect have a young, goalscoring talent rising through the ranks and gaining vital experience out on loan this season. John Guidetti is a 19-year-old Swedish born striker who has been at City since 2008 and in my opinion could be the long term successor to Tevez at the Etihad. Guidetti has been on fire for Dutch giants Feyenoord this season, scoring a remarkable 18 goals in 16 league appearances that has sparked unusual scenes in Rotterdam with over 24,000 supporters signing an online petition for the club to keep Guidetti for an additional season.
Fan power taking over the Dutch Eredivisie shows just how well the youngster has done during his spell on loan and presumably Manchester City will be taking note of everything surrounding their player. It is reported that the Swedish under-21 international is in constant contact with his parent club and is open to any options put in front of him. However, with only Sergio Aguero, the inconsistent Edin Dzeko and wild Mario Balotelli as the first team strikers at the club, a natural goalscorer like Guidetti could well give a lot to a team that will be playing in four major competitions next seasons.
The Stockholm-born hitman came close to leaving City last summer on a Bosman to FC Twente but he eventually extended his contract in England until 2014 after scoring 13 goals in 13 games for Manchester City’s youth team. A hat-trick on his debut for the reserves also impressed the hierarchy at City and the supporters began hearing great things about the prodigy. A five game stint on loan at Burnley was unhelpful but a year on and it seems every City fan now knows of Guidetti and his goals at Feyenoord so the 6ft striker and Roberto Mancini have a big decision to make this summer regarding his career.
After scoring a staggering three hat-tricks in three games earlier this month, Guidetti was sent off on Saturday for over celebrating a goal that may show naivety, but if he is focussed at the Etihad Stadium next year it could be the start of something special for Manchester City and Sweden.
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