For those beginning to hyperventilate that Manchester City’s much-heralded transfer splurge is yet to break out of first gear, this morning’s ramble through the long corridors of Wikipedia has at least settled the fevered mind of this correspondent.
You see, I have been idly checking dates. It is the kind of thing one can do in the slow-moving, sun-drenched days of the close season.
On 28th July 2011 Sergio Aguero swapped the red and white stripes of Atlético Madrid for the sky blue of Manchester City. A year earlier David Silva had removed his white Valencia shirt for the last time and also moved north into the cold, bleak steppes of North West England, signing on the dotted line on June 30th 2010. It must have been quite a week at the Etihad, for -- just three days later -- Yaya Toure ambled through the front foyer with the air of a man in no hurry at all to do exactly the same thing.
The three most iconic and influential signings the club has made in the new, cash-driven age of success were, therefore, all signed in the end-of-June-beginning-of-July period of the summer. This means that the early bird getting the worm scenario is not necessarily true in football terms. It is clear that the pressure is very much on City’s Three Wise Men (Manuel Pellegrini, Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano) to deliver the goods -- top quality, well wrapped, pristine goods at that -- in this summer’s transfer market.
Three seasons of mixed success in this area have passed since City last landed a truly global footballing icon. That the £24m spent on Toure, another £24m on Silva and the relatively huge (then) and bargain (now) £38m spent on Aguero was handed over a good month and a half into the transfer season, underlines the fact that the top transfers in world football these days take a very long time to iron out....
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