Alvaro Negredo claims that a shoulder injury is the reason why he has been struggling for goals since January.
Alvaro Negredo arrived in England amid much fanfare. During his four years at Sevilla, the 28-year-old had established himself as one of the best strikers in La Liga and had also threaded his way into the Spain national team.
The former Real Madrid forward was an instant hit in the Premier League as well, scoring 23 goals in 33 appearances for Manchester City. The Spaniard was looking worth the £20 million the Citizens had paid Sevilla for his services.
Moreover, Negredo had formed a strong partnership with Sergio Aguero and the two were at one stage of the 2013-14 campaigned acclaimed the most dangerous duo in the English top flight.
Yet since late January, Negredo has found himself a bit-part player for manager Manuel Pellegrini, his importance to City’s title challenge dwindling with every passing week.
That’s mainly because of the shoulder injury he picked up against West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground, according to Negredo. He scored twice that day in City’s 3-0 victory, but since then he has not found the net even once.
‘I settled in right from the word go, although initially my time on the pitch was limited’, The Mirror quotes him as saying. ‘But I worked hard and when I got the chance I scored goals. I then picked up a shoulder injury, which affected things. We were struggling up front suffering from injuries and needed all the support we could get.
‘I was playing games when I wasn’t fully fit - but things have turned around now and I am fit again. I am not featuring as regularly as before. I turned it around earlier in the season so I have to turn things around again. It’s a case of working hard to get as many minutes on the pitch as possible to repay their faith in me’.
However, Negredo is not giving up hope of eventually breaking his barren spell and regaining the support of the City fans.
‘The fans have been great with me since the start’ he said. ‘The first time my dad was at a game he heard this [chant] and thought, ‘Why are they booing my boy?’ Fortunately my wife explained that it’s a way of appreciating me and represents my strength and bravery. I’ve been delighted with the way the fans accepted me. I will be fighting hard to return their support’.