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Pressure on Manchester City striker to produce after Alvaro Negredo loan deal

Manchester City Etihad

Stevan Jovetic could be set for a big season after Manchester City offloaded the Spanish striker.

Manchester City offloaded a big-name striker on transfer deadline day, sending Alvaro Negredo to Valencia on a season-long loan with an obligation for a permanent deal next summer.

The Spanish striker spent just one season in the Premier League after joining from Sevilla for £16 million last summer. He scored nine goals in the league in 2013/14, but was deemed surplus to requirements by manager Manuel Pelligrini.

One reason for Negredo's departure is the emergence of Stevan Jovetic over the course of the pre-season.

After rarely seeing the field last season the Montenegrin starred in the International Champions Cup with goals against AC Milan, Liverpool and Olympiacos.

Jovetic was also handed a starting spot in the Premier League against Liverpool and he put the Reds to the sword again, scoring twice in an all-action display.

The 24-year-old now looks to be a big part of Pelligrini's plans as City look to defend the title this season, and with Negredo gone and no replacement brought in there will be real pressure on him to perform.

Jovetic will have to adjust from being a bit-part player to starting plenty of games as the third-choice striker in the City squad.

Pellegrini loves rotating his strikeforce and for that reason it is surprising that he elected to let Negredo go without having a replacement already lined up. That certainly speaks to the faith the Chilean has in Jovetic to step up.

Despite an injury-hit campaign in 2013/14 Negredo appeared in 32 games, and Jovetic will be expected to shoulder a similar load, particularly if Sergio Aguero faces an extended period of time on the sidelines.

His display against Liverpool, full of pace, precision and attacking guile, shows that he has the ability to be an excellent Premier League striker but now the Montenegrin must carry that level of performance through for the entire year.

Pellegrini has shown that he is not afraid to sell players that he feels are not crucial to the club's title push, particularly with the tight financial fair play rules in place, and if Jovetic fades as the year goes on he could easily be shown the door next summer.

It is a make or break year for the striker and the pressure is certainly on him to help deliver another title to the Etihad in 2015.

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