City boss Manuel Pellegrini clearly felt that adding another goalkeeper was a priority for the club this summer, and today he tied up the £6m deal to bring his former Malaga goalkeeper Caballero to the Etihad Stadium on a three-year-deal. How does City's move to sign the former Boca Juniors man grade out?
Caballero, at 32, possesses plenty of experience in Spain, having made well over 100 appearances for both Elche and Malaga. The Argentine has been arguably the top goalkeeper in La Liga over the past 18 months, and he was unbelievably shunned by Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella ahead of the World Cup, despite clearly being the best goalkeeper available to him. One of the most controversial moments of Manuel Pellegrini's reign as Manchester City boss was when he dropped Joe Hart mid-way through the Premier League season, choosing to play Romanian international Costel Pantilimon instead. The giant stopper has now left the club for Sunderland, and Caballero offers much better and stronger competition for Hart – even to the point where he may be benched from the word go. Caballero is a favourite of Pellegrini's from his time at Malaga, and his relationship with the manager can only be a good thing as he looks to adjust to life in England, as well as a big sign of how much confidence the Chilean has in his goalkeeper.
City have paid £6m to bring Cabellero to the Etihad Stadium, which, whilst not exactly expensive given City's recent transfer history, is still a fair chunk of money to pay for a backup goalkeeper – if that's what he is. If he's the first choice, then Pellegrini will have an unhappy Joe Hart on his hands, given that he seemed to regain his form in the second half of the season. Can he really keep two top quality goalkeepers happy throughout the course of the Premier League campaign? The relationship between the two goalkeepers and the morale of each player is really the only possible downside to this move, as Caballero is talented, experienced and familiar with the manager – which could be perfect for City.
Caballero is arguably as good as Hart and whichever stopper gets the nod between the sticks for City next season will do a good job. Caballero's experience will be invaluable given that Hart still shows some immaturity in his game despite being 27 now, whilst he's also talented enough that if Hart goes through another poor spell as he did in 2013, he's good enough to step in and City's defence won't be any worse. A top move from Pellegrini – if he can keep both of them happy.