Despite admittedly impressing against Sevilla FC last time out for Manchester City, Jesus Navas hasn’t exactly experienced the most successful spell at the Etihad since first joining the Premier League back in 2013.
Although much was expected of the Spanish international upon leaving the safety of La Liga, the now 29-year-old wide-man has so far looked far from worthy of his reported price-tag, and simply fails to compare when stood up alongside the likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva and Sergio Aguero in Manuel Pellegrini’s starting XI.
The level of competition for places is now a great deal higher at the Etihad in light of such a busy summer at the club. Both Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne were drafted in by Manchester City for a sizeable fortune each – so even if Navas did in-fact up his performance levels considerably this season – re-cementing himself within his manager’s first team plans would likely prove a task much easier said than done.
So, with the January transfer window fast approaching for those among the English top-flight, does Jesus Navas deserve another chance to make a name for himself within the Etihad faithful, or should Manchester City simply look to offload the inconsistent winger at the first given opportunity?
Sometimes within the realm of top-tier modern day football, certain reputations can often prove slightly more generous than what is perhaps necessary in the cold light of day. Jesus Navas is a player who may well prove effective on the odd occasion for City – but he just isn’t that potential world class talent many experts within the game initially singled him out as.
After breaking onto the scene alongside Spain’s golden generation of unquestionable footballing talent, it remains easy to envisage how some expected Navas to emulate the effectiveness of several of his comparable countrymen. On paper he seemed to have it all – someone who was dazzlingly quick on the wing, could seemingly beat defenders with ease, and even crop up with a few important goals here and there when his side needed them most.
Yet whilst the former Spanish international may well still carry such a potentially damaging skill-set under his belt at City this season, Jesus Navas is ultimately missing one key component to his overall game – the all-important ability to produce the end product at a consistent enough rate.
Time and time again, the current no. 15 gets himself into great positions with a whole host of supporting teammates just waiting to pounce in the box, but inevitably fails to deliver the final ball over and over, and over. It’s certainly not a rare thing to witness Navas beat his man when the odds are seemingly stacked in the defender’s favour – but watching him actually send in a cross that is well measured and easy to work off of – well, being exposed to such an outcome would simply prove miraculous in itself.
Yes, the tricky little Spaniard does in-fact possess some decent close control qualities when push comes to shove, and those who watched him dissect the Sevilla defence time and time again this week could certainty point to that specific game in favour of the player in question. But seeing as Unai Emery’s back-line looked utterly shocking on the night – and Sevilla were of course the last team Jesus Navas played for – maybe the Manchester City wide-man was made to look a lot better than he actually is, in light of the relevant context behind the match.
In the end, Jesus Navas is not a bad player by any means – he’s just glaringly average. Had the 29-year-old not been born of Spanish origins, perhaps many wouldn’t even offer his services much of a second glance in the first place. Manchester City should therefore look to part ways with the former Sevilla man by the time the January transfer window arrives, in order to maintain the highest possible standard of squad depth in their chase for the Premier League title this season.
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