The hundreds of millions spent by Manchester City over the last few years has taken the club to multiple domestic trophies, and it sees them creeping closer and closer to their ultimate goal of a Champions League title, although this still feels a long way off.
It has also seen some truly world-class players don the sky blue kit, with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and Yaya Toure lighting up the Etihad. While it has not been a cheap transition, it cannot be accused of being one that has not been a successful venture.
However, for all the money spent, there have been a fair few flops brought into the side. Mario Balotelli’s antics spring to mind, while you could fill two or three different defences with the amount of atrocious defenders City have had.
In conjunction with this has been the Manchester City career of Jesus Navas. It was never quite going to be a second coming, but fans of the English game probably assumed he would bring pace, intelligence, a good final ball and the odd goal to City’s right-wing. They were right about one of these things.
Navas is undoubtedly a pacy customer, with the winger among the fastest players in the Premier League this season. However, as every English fan has seen with Theo Walcott, pace alone does not make a player deserving of a space in a team fighting at the top of the table.
Neither winger is anywhere near the man that the fans thought they would be getting. This one isn’t about Walcott though, as he gets enough stick as it is.
Navas’ all-time Premier League stats for Manchester City do not make for pretty reading:
City fans may point to the fact he has picked up 22 assists, but, using Pedro once again, the Chelsea man has assisted 14 times already.
On the face of it then, it seems as though Navas’ pace and ability to drill an accurate cross into the box may not draw constant assists, but at least they are accurate right? Wrong. Navas has attempted 666 crosses, with an accuracy rating of just 23%.
In this time, the winger has created 27 big chances, but he has almost missed half as many big chances as he has created (11).
— Edward Archer (@standardtweeter) 8 March 2017
There is likely to be little fanfare when the winger leaves this summer, in fact, most are probably still surprised he wasn’t a player that was removed as soon as Pep Guardiola took over at City.
He is definitely a winger that can make an impact at a smaller Spanish club, with his lack of any kind of physicality not suited to the Premier League’s style. Sevilla are reportedly interest in his services, but this may be down to the fact he is a former player there, with the Spanish side too good for Navas.
All things considered, Navas’ time in England on a personal level has been a failure. Wingers should beat defenders, hit accurate crosses, pick up assists and goals and generally torment the opposition. Navas won’t be remembered for any of these. Instead, he will be remembered as the man City paid £15million for because he was fast and couldn’t beat the first man with his crosses:
When Jesus Navas’ plan of hitting the first defender with every cross finally pays off ⚽️pic.twitter.com/f4CfySfoev
— Weekend Football (@weekendfootball) 3 December 2016