Lescott the final piece in Hughes’ City jigsaw

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher predicted the end of ‘thirty years of shear pain’ with things ‘falling into place’ for his beloved club, as one of Manchester City’s most recognisable celebrity fans enjoyed watching his team overcome Wolves yesterday.

Indeed when Manchester City was bought over by the Abu Dhabi United group last September, even Gallagher couldn’t have predicted that less than a year later, City would have spent over £150 million on playing staff. The Eastland’s revolution is in full swing under the guidance of manager Mark Hughes.

Today there is more good news, as the Welshman looks to have all but signed the final piece of his expensive jigsaw with the transfer of Joleon Lescott to Manchester City seemingly imminent. Everton gaffer David Moyes is resigned to losing his star centre back despite his best efforts to retain the newly promoted England international.

One can sympathise with the plight of Moyes who rightly feels aggrieved with the loss of Lescott. Three years ago he plucked the 27-year-old from the Championship, manufacturing the former Wolves player into an imposing centre back who is a threat from set pieces.

It’s testament to the skills of the Everton manager who signed Lescott for around £3 million, and now 113 appearances later will be sold to Manchester City for a princely fee in the region of £24 million.

The lack of loyalty on the part of the player will leave a bitter taste in the Scottish manager’s mouth.

Ultimately the player wanted to move on, the lure of a fresh exciting challenge, and a part in the renaissance occurring in the blue half of Manchester proved too strong for Lescott to resist. Moyes will have the fee to reinvest in players who will be motivated for the Toffees’ cause.

Meanwhile Lescott should become City’s final signing of the summer, as Hughes looks to reinforce his defensive options. Indeed should one of the longest transfer wrangles of this summer come to an end Hughes will be content that he has a squad good enough to challenge for a 4th spot place if not the title.

Yesterday City threatened consistently throughout the duration of the match against Wolverhampton Wanderers with Hughes managing to accommodate all his stars into his starting 11.

Emmanuel Adebayor opened the scoring after 17 minutes for the second successive week with the Togo international’s goal separating the two sides on the day. In attack City looked dangerous, but defensively disorganised at times.

City undeniably rode their luck in defence, with Irish goalkeeper Shay Given producing a world-class save to deny Matt Jarvis. Andy Keogh came close hitting the bar twice as Kolo Toure and Richard Dunne failed to deal with a long ball.

Upon the signing of Lescott it remains to be seen who Hughes will sacrifice when he carries out a reshuffle of his back four in order to facilitate the defender’s arrival. It’s plausible either Dunne or Micah Richards will be sacrificed as Lescott slots into the centre back.

If Lescott can slot quickly into Hughes’ side and provide some defensive stability then Manchester City will be undeniably become a real force to be reckoned with in the Premier League despite the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson branding them as a “small club”.

For the neutral it provides a real source of excitement as the cash-rich club look to impose themselves on the so called “big four”, adding a bit of spice to the upper echelons of the Premier League.


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