After a run of three clean sheets from their last 18 competitive games, those behind the scenes at Manchester City have hit upon a novel idea as to how the Sky Blues can stop shipping goals – by playing against one of the worst strikers in the history of the Premier League.
What other reason can there be for the announcement that the Citizens will face Toronto FC in a friendly this May that will see them facing off against an old foe...of sorts.
Jozy Altidore did not achieve much during his time at Sunderland, however a return of one goal in 40 Premier League appearances did set him out as one of the club’s most notable flops in recent times.
Signed for a hefty £6 million (per the Independent) and finding the net just once in the league – against Chelsea of all people – Altidore was shipped out to Canada as part of the deal that saw the homesick Jermaine Defoe return to England.
It’s a move that has worked out for all concerned, with Defoe scoring three times as many Premier League goals in a quarter of the time it took Altidore to score just one for the Black Cats.
The American, meanwhile, has hit the ground running with two goals on his Major League Soccer debut for Toronto in a supposed derby encounter with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Back in the international picture for Team USA under Jurgen Klinsmann too, the match on May 27th will offer up the chance for Altidore to prove some of his doubters wrong.
Toronto general manager Tim Bezbatchenko, meanwhile, is relishing the opportunity the game will offer to all of his squad.
"Hosting a club like Manchester City is a great opportunity for our players to compete against one of the biggest clubs in the world,” he told the official Manchester City website.
With change likely to be afoot at the Etihad this summer, meanwhile, a poor game against Altidore and Co. could also hasten a departure or two from the club.
In the meantime, Manchester City have a derby encounter with Manchester United to contend with this Sunday and they are likely to prove a slightly bigger test than any Toronto side.