Robbie Savage has compared Alvaro Negredo to Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer.
Manchester City are scoring goals for fun at the moment. You could say that they have the strongest strike force in the league, in the world perhaps.
Sergio Aguero has always shown his class, and Edin Dzeko continues to score goals even though he starts most games on the bench. This year Manuel Pellegrini brought with him Alvaro Negredo from La Liga. Negredo had a great record with Sevilla and in his last six seasons in Spain his worst goal tally was 11.
But at 28 and with a hefty transfer fee, Negredo couldn't afford to spend a year settling in, he had to hit the ground running, and he certainly has done just that. Remarkably in all competitions he has already scored 21 goals for City this season, and has struck up a phenomenal partnership with Aguero.
The goals have continued to flow all season for Pellegrini's boys, and Aguero and Negredo have been at the forefront of that. They are the typical little and large partnership who play well off each other, and always seem to know where the other is.
City are just one goal away from the milestone of 100 this season and will become the fastest English side to ever reach that landmark. Their 99 goals have come from just 33 games this season. The quickest English side to reach 100 goals before was Chelsea last season who did it in 42 games.
Their goals per game ratio is particularly impressive at home. They have scored 64 goals in 16 games, an average of exactly four goals per game. Manchester City fans are certainly getting their value for money this season.
Nicknamed the beast, Negredo has the right attributes to fit the English game. Robbie Savage believes Negredo has very similar traits to record Premier League goalscorer Alan Shearer: strength, power, pace, aggression… a striker who would be a nightmare to try and defend against.
Most strikers have either pace or strength. Not many excel in both, and like Alan Shearer he provides a huge goal threat. Savage says "He sprints into the box as if all he can see is the ball and the goal - I have only seen Shearer do that."
City's attack looks unstoppable this season, and there has already been a lot of talk about the quadruple recently. Captain Vincent Kompany has backed these claims saying that whilst it might not happen this year, it will happen sooner rather than later.
Negredo at 28 is proving to be one of the signings of the season, and you have to compare it to the signing of Roberto Soldado for Tottenham Hotspur. Both 28, both from Spain, and both arrived with large transfer fees (Soldado was £26m). Negredo has looked far more impressive than the struggling Soldado. Obviously Negredo has had better service, but considering all their similarities, City have really come up trumps with this signing whilst Soldado still seems to be trying to get to grips with the English game.
If City do embark on a period of great success over the next few years, then Negredo will be at the forefront of it. You can't rule out the chance that they may win a Champions League in the next three years or so. They are improving on all fronts, and look in great shape for at least two trophies this year. The former Real Madrid and Sevilla striker can lead City to these trophies with his strike partner Sergio Ageuro.
If you compare this strike force to that of Manchester United's in 1999 then there are many similarities. Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole had a great partnership, one of the best in Europe much like Aguero and Negredo. Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were the back up strikers to the duo and made impacts when the first choices were rested or injured. Edin Dzeko currently carries this burden by himself for City, with Stevan Jovetic hoping to play a part soon.
Although the Premier League table shows one of the tightest challenges for the title in history, you still expect City to have a certain dominance over the next few years. Negredo can continue bagging the goals for them, and with the rate at which the goals are being scored, he could reach very high figures over the next few years. He is in the peak of his career but could have another 6 years perhaps more at the very top level.
image: © Leon Queeley