Jan 19, 2009

The Manchester City Renovation Plan

For one moment, please, let's put aside the empty moralizing, and consider how quickly Manchester City can become a top six team in the Premier League.

A certain Brazilian isn't the only player in Mark Hughes' sights this January. City have today signed Craig Bellamy and seem set to grab themselves a defensive midfielder.

If we assume that, despite Sam Allardyce's ravings, City do buy Roque Santa Cruz this month then, adding Kaka, we come up with a first XI that looks like this:

Richards, Dunne, Kompany, Bridge
Wright-Phillips, De Jong, Kaka, Robinho
Santa Cruz

And add to that a bench that could include Ben Haim, Petrov, Ireland, Sturridge and Vassell.

That, surely, is a team that could make a charge up the table -- City are only six points behind seventh-placed Wigan and have a game in hand on them. In other words, they could be seventh and breathing down the necks of Everton (and maybe Arsenal?) by the end of next month.

There are still many questions for that team: is Hughes the right man to lead them? Can a team with Bellamy, Robinho and -- still a surprise to even think of it -- Kaka actually gel? But the point remains that City perhaps aren't as far away from being contenders as one might think.

Will that be enough to lure Kaka? Who knows. But it's probably not as crazy as it first seemed.


Update: So it seems the dream is over, at least for now. With Kaka out of the picture, it'll be interesting to see who City target in the summer.

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