Saturday, 25 August 2012

One In, One Out in Winger Switch

It is probably reasonable to say that Adam Johnson never totally fulfilled his potential at City, after being given countless opportunities to impress he has now been shown the exit door.  I doubt many City fans however would show any animosity to the 25 year old, whilst he may never have been a top performer he has played his hand in all of our successes in recent years and for that he should be thanked.  As with all transfers we have no real clue as to how much we got for the winger, but reports seem to suggest it is somewhere between £12M and £15M and when you consider we signed him with an outlay of only £7M I believe it is a good piece of business, and one of the very few times that we have managed to turn a profit on a player.

I hope that Johnson is more settled back in his native North East and that with more consistent appearances he can make a real impact for both club and country, and it clearly doesn't mean much but I do wish him all the best in his future career.

With Johnsons departure appearing a close certainty for most of the Summer, the name Scott Sinclair has been suggested numerous times as his replacement and according to reports this morning it is only a matter of time before that deal is completed.  Welsh media  outlets are suggesting that a deal of £6.5M had been accepted by Swansea, and on top of that he was not part of their squad that took on West Ham at the Liberty Stadium.  

Theoretically the deal could move just as quickly as the Rodwell one did; I have the distinct impression that this transfer has been in place for a while and that it was just dependent on Johnson sealing his move.  There could however still be issues to be ironed out, personal terms may still need to be agreed and then there is the medical meaning it could be Monday or Tuesday before it finally goes through.

So what do we actually know about Sinclair? Well here is a bit of a potted history of the 23 year old.  The winger began life at Bristol Rovers, but was soon snapped up by Chelsea where he first came to the attention of most football fans, in all truth he barely made an impact there and was instead loaned out to a string of different clubs, mostly in the Championship, where he did manage to improve his game.  His first sustained spell of Premier League football came during the 2009-2010 season which he spelt on loan with Wigan, he fared reasonably well and demonstrated his searing pace and dribbling ability without really setting the league alight.  The following Summer he moved to Swansea for around £500,000 and it was there that he really began to make a name for himself.  He fired the Swans to promotion in his first season scoring 27 goals in 50 appearances, a pretty impressive feat due to the fact that he played most of those games on the wing.  He was a regular last year for them in the Premier League, and although he was less prolific, he still managed to notch 8 goals.  His form saw him selected for the Team GB football team this Summer and he has also been capped numerous times at England under-21 level.  His last appearance (and goal) for Swansea came last weekend in the clubs demolition of QPR at Loftus Road, the same team he could make his City debut against next weekend.

What would the signing of Sinclair mean for us? It would mean a totally different option in the way we play and that can only be a good thing.  Many people have said to me on twitter than in terms of ability this isn't an upgrade on Johnson, but there is more at play here.  The main attribute that the 23 year old possesses is his pace, he isn't just quick, he is ridiculously quick and that isn't something that we really have in our attacking unit, so he gives us something entirely different.  He is equally comfortable playing on the left or the right, and is more than happy to run at defenders and that always causes panic amongst opposition ranks.  The other important factor is the fact that he has learnt his game mostly at Swansea, a club that play in a very similar style to us, that hopefully should limit any problems he has adapting to a new club.  

The other major fact is the fee, selling Johnson for £15M and signing Sinclair for £6.5M to me signifies a really good bit of business, but lets not get ahead of ourselves, he won't be an automatic starter, but he has a much better attitude, a better work ethic and will be more willing to fight for a place in the team than Johnson ever was, and on top of all of that, he's dating one of Corrie's finest, a match made in heaven!

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