Liverpool legend and now-Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness believes Manchester City should have kept Alvaro Negredo over Edin Dzeko.
Negredo, 29, returned to Spain to join Valencia in September on a season-long loan after just one season in England, with the La Liga side obliged to make the move a permanent £24 million transfer following the 2014-15 campaign.
Having made a £16.4 million switch from Sevilla to Manchester last summer, the Spanish striker netted an impressive 23 goals in 48 games during his time at the Etihad Stadium, but failed to score in his last 16 appearances after returning from an injured shoulder.
He then suffered a broken metatarsal in pre-season before being moved on, despite leaving City with just three senior strikers, with manager Manuel Pellegrini later revealing that restrictions imposed on the club for breaking Financial Fair Play rules forced his departure.
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Nevertheless, Souness claims that Negredo, who made his Valencia debut last weekend after returning to fitness, would have been far more valuable to the Blues than Dzeko, especially after seeing the club fall 2-1 at home to CSKA Moscow in Wednesday night’s Champions League clash to leave them on the brink of elimination.
‘For me, I’d rather have him than Dzeko. I think he’s more of a handful,’ he said on Sky Sports. ‘If you asked centre-backs who would you want to play against, they’d say Dzeko.
‘To get goals, you’re playing on the most difficult place on the football pitch. Everything has to be treble quick. I just think he [Dzeko] makes the wrong decisions and sort of shuffles about – he fails to pick his feet up.
‘They called Negredo the beast, but I didn’t see that. I saw him as quite silky.
‘Dzeko for me, his decision-making is off and I think he’s a little bit heavy-footed. Up front you have to be so sharp.
‘Look at the little man, Aguero. You blink and he’s away from you.
‘For me, in a straight choice between the two, I’d have to go with the Spaniard.’
After scoring 26 times in 46 total appearances last season, Dzeko has nabbed just four in 16 games this term, but his importance in the club’s mind was underlined in August when he put pen to paper on a new deal until 2018.