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What next for Tevez?

By | 18th October 2011

Manchester City are alone at the summit of the table, for now at least, and are beginning to look more and more like potential favorites to lift the trophy, or at least provide a very serious threat to their cross-town rivals Manchester United as well as last season’s runners-up Chelsea.

But one of the key components of this rise, a man whose signing was a signal of intent to the world, is now left to train by himself and wonder what will become of his future, which surely lies away from the Carrington training grounds he now practices on by himself.

Who will be willing to take a chance on the mercurial Argentine, whose goal-scoring record now undoubtedly comes with personal baggage?

Tevez’s alleged ‘refusal to play’ against Bayern Munich was the biggest incident, but problems have been brewing between him and the club for a while.

His stated displeasure for the Manchester area makes one wonder why he agreed to join City from United, rather than go somewhere closer to home or culturally similar to his native Argentina.

His goals and leadership have been a driving force behind City’s revolution, and he was a pivotal figure in last year’s sucesses, winning the FA Cup and securing automatic entry into the Champions League group stages.

But as the team begins to develop a framework for how to do things under Mancini, it has become clear the Italian manager will not tolerate any prima donna antics, no matter what the player makes.

Mancini has come down hard in the past on distractions, for example Mario Balotelli’s failed back-heel against the LA Galaxy in the pre-season, which saw the striker pulled off immediately.

Tevez stated his desire to leave the club numerous times over the summer, with former club Corinthians very much in the frame to take him back to Brazil. But after the move failed to materialize, Tevez has been in something of a grey area. While Tevez needed time to think, Mancini needed players, and the ones he has picked have produced.

The arrival of Sergio Aguero from Atletico Madrid has been the signing of the season, and the Argentine has 8 goals in just 9 appearances for the club. Edin Dzeko looks renewed, and so far he has hit 6 in all competitions. Mario Balotelli’s fantastic strike against Villa at the weekend is a sign of his tremendous talent, and David Silva and Samir Nasri have 12 assists between them.

Things are going extremely well at the Etihad Stadium, and now it seems as if it is Tevez who needs City, and not the other way around.

He has made just 5 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring no goals, and usually doesn’t take his warm-ups off. To contrast last season’s stormer (when he scored 20 league goals) with this one, Owen Hargreaves has scored a goal more for City than Tevez.

At just 27, there is still much Tevez can contribute to a major club. Despite his previous antics, he remains a proven striker in the Premier League, saving West Ham from relegation almost by himself, winning the league and Champions League with Manchester United, and firing Manchester City into England and Europe’s elite level.

When he plays, he works hard for 90 minutes and has a knack for getting the most unlikely goals. But given his history, it is much harder to see the Buenos Aries native as a naive happy-go-lucky boy anymore.

Though he claims the move is for family reasons, the stark fact is that after Corinthians, Tevez has not remained at a club for more than two years, and greed seems to be the underlying motivation.

Inter have been linked, and Tevez’s energetic style of play could do well in Italy, but would he be happy with the competition for places? As we have seen at City and United, he doesn’t seem to be a fan of squad rotation, and with Diego Forlan, Diego Milito, Giampaolo Pazzini, and Mauro Zarate already at the San Siro, the Nerazzurri might not be the best choice.

West Ham have officially enquired about taking him back on loan, and with City paying his wages now for him to simply train, regular football a league below could keep him fit and put him in the shop window. Also, with West Ham in the Championship he would be out of sight for Mancini.

Corinthians could come back with another bid in January, but with a lack of football and the media frenzy surrounding his recent actions, the offer will almost certainly be lower.

Sheikh Mansour and Mancini now have a double-edged sword to deal with; what to do with an extremely valuable asset that is now apparently hurting the owner. Bar reserve football, don’t expect Tevez to put on the City shirt again.



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