While the signing of Jesus Navas could be a masterstroke; it could also prove a catastrophic error from the City hierarchy.
Manchester City’s first piece of big business for the summer has been confirmed and as we have come to expect from the Emirati owned team a vast sum of money changed hands for this players services.
Jesus Navas of Spain and Sevilla has long been one of the Premier League’s most consistent targets and for many it will be a surprise that it is only at the age of 27 he has finally decided to leave his boyhood club for a new challenge.
For others the reason is already well documented.
Born in Los Palacios; just outside of the city of Seville; Navas has always had trouble escaping from his home turf.
In 2006 he turned down a move to Chelsea citing homesickness and too many that didn’t seem a big issue at the time. He was just 20-years-old of course and perhaps this is simply a case of waiting till he was a little older to make the move abroad.
But his fear of leaving his Andalusian home goes much deeper than the heebie-jeebies at a move to West London.
Navas actually retired from international football when he first made his way into the La Roja line-up because of the severe panic attacks that accompanied his homesickness. He was even reported to go into seizure such was the severity of his problem.
Which brings me to this number … £17 million.
I believe that is something of a gamble for City considering the problems he has had in the past. Of course they would have known this. The fact Navas states himself that this deal has gone on for almost four months shows that City were carefully vetting him before putting pen-to-paper on a deal; you can also guarantee there will be some form of clause in his contract about compensation packages should he relapse.
Personally; I do not think he will.
Age and maturity can do wonders for a person and in 2008 if you were to tell a Spanish football fan that Navas would travel to a World Cup in South Africa and stay from day one to the final they would have laughed in your face.
Navas will probably feel that this move is the final nail in the coffin of his anxiety; and while those feelings may occasionally rear their ugly head again he will hopefully be able to stent them before they become debilitating.
If he can do that; then City will be laughing that they were the ones to give him a chance.
Do you think City have over-paid for Navas? Or will he repay their trust in him?
image: © Gene Hunt