A Major League Soccer record-breaker and a former Manchester City star to boot – Bradley Wright-Phillips is the ideal man to fire New York City to glory
While Manchester City’s plans for the New York City MLS franchise remain hazy at best, with two big names in Frank Lampard and David Villa already on board, the Sky Blues would do well to consider a reunion with a player from their not-too-distant passed.
Still only 29, Bradley Wright-Phillips spent five years on the books at City before departing for Southampton having scored just two goals in 32 stop-start appearances for the Sky Blues.
But with the Citizens looking to make immediate headway in Major League Soccer, the potential for a deal that would bring the striker to New York City could be too good an opportunity to pass up - particularly as Bradley already lives in the city and plays for New York Red Bulls.
Here are four reasons why Wright-Phillips and Manchester City must make it happen.
Wright-Phillips’ record in the MLS
Arriving in New York following a stint with Brentford in League One , Wright-Phillips took time to adjust to Major League Soccer, scoring just once over the seven league games in which he featured during the backend of the 2012-13 campaign.
But it’s been a different story this term, with the 29-year-old racking up a sensational 21 goals in 25 MLS appearances to date this season for the Red Bulls, including hat-tricks against Houston Dynamo and Chicago Fire.
That tally saw him surpass Juan Pablo Angel’s record for goals scored in a single season and makes him a valuable commodity to any franchise.
The low costs likely to be involved
To date, Wright-Phillips has commanded just £88,000 in transfer fees, with that sum paid to Manchester City by Southampton to land the youngster way back in July 2006.
Since then the forward has move to Charlton and New York Red Bulls for nothing, and though he is regarded as one of the best strikers currently plying his trade in the MLS, it’s likely that City would be able to land their man, with the forward valued at anywhere between £500,000 and £1 million.
Throw in the fact that his wages are unlikely to reach the astronomical levels of his Premier League peers and it’s easy to see why a deal might tempt.
The Manchester City connection
The 29-year-old spent five years on the books at Manchester City, coming up through their youth ranks. During that time he was named top scorer for the reserve side in the 2003-04 campaign and netted his first Premier League goal against Middlesbrough in December of the following season.
Wright-Phillips rise through the City team also came at a time when his brother, Shaun Wright-Phillips, was impressing for the Sky Blues, with the tricky winger ultimately playing over 200 games for the Citizens during two separate stints at the club.
The family connection to Manchester City is fairly evident to see and if Bradley signs, don’t be surprised to see Shaun follow, with the 32-year-old out-of-favour at current club Queens Park Rangers.
He’s a great Plan C for the Citizens
Laugh if you will, but Wright-Phillips could prove to be an asset to Manchester City on the pitch, should the Sky Blues find themselves short of attacking options at any point over the season.
With Stevan Jovetic’s injury record still something of a concern, the 29-year-old could be drafted in – provided he has signed for New York City – to offer up cover and support. Capable of playing anywhere across the front-line, Wright-Phillips has gelled well with established superstars like Thierry Henry in the past too and would have no problems meshing with an Edin Dzeko or Sergio Aguero in attack.
And those that may question his ability need only look at the star performance he put in for the MLS All-Star Team against a near full-strength Bayern Munich. With goals like this, City could ultimately benefit from giving this striker a fleeting shot at Etihad glory.
Should Manchester City make Bradley Wright-Phillips a New York City player?