Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Is Jerome Boateng Becoming A Forgotten Man?

Last Summer was a really exciting transfer window for all Manchester City fans, the massive signings of players such as Silva and Toure suggested that a great season was on the way, and it certainly turned out to be that.  It is strange to now look back though and think that Jerome Boateng was one of the signings that I was most excited about.

There were murmurings about his arrival before the previous season had ended, and it seemed to be a dead cert that he would be a City player evetually.  The deal made sense in many ways, a young versatile, athletic defender who wasn't overly expensive, paying around £10million for the 22 year old seemed like good business.  Expectations raised even further when he went off to the World Cup, and playing in one of his unfavored positions, left back, he did really well.

I suppose in many ways his career highlight at City was that pre-season friendly against Valencia when he laid on a goal for Gareth Barry after a fantastic surging run down the right wing.  Things quickly went down hill, he injured his knee in a freak accident involving a drinks trolley, and when he finally returned to fitness his form was patchy to say the least.

Despite making 24 appearances in all competitions he has failed to impress, and due to injury and lack of form he has began to become the forgotten man.  Personally I am guilty of criticising Boateng, it is fair to say he has taken a long time to adjust to English football and he is still working on that, but there is clearly talent there.

Reports continue to circulate suggesting that he could be ready for a swift return to German, and Bayern Munich to be precise.  The stumbling block seems to be the price, with City holding out for around £17million to consider selling the player, a figure which would represent a fine bit of business, but I think that would be a massive mistake.

My defense of Boateng is pretty straight forward really, firstly he is only 22, and he is still learning his trade, at that age players need time to develop in their own country, let alone abroad.  The next crucial factor is that he has been forced to play out of position for the vast majority of his career at Eastlands, I will hold my hands up and say that I don't think he will ever be a world class full back, but when he has played at centre back on the odd occasion, I think he has looked a lot more composed.  Injuries have also had a massive effect on the player, there can't have been many points in the season where he has been fully fit, and he has never really had a long run of games in his favoured position. 

Essentially I think it is far too early to judge the player, he may be forgotten at the moment, but I think if we stick with him for another season and use him in his favoured position he could turn into a fine asset for this football club.

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