Best signing – Frank Lampard
Lampard bid farewell to English football with a goal in City’s final day victory over Europa League hopefuls Southampton at the Etihad. He was chaired by his teammates after his last ever game in the Premier League before he moves to MLS to play for New York City FC. It must have been quite a strange season for Lampard after his move to City, having played for Chelsea for 13 years previously.
The Blues winning their fourth Premier League title and their first without Lampard must have been painful for him despite impressing during his year at City. Manuel Pellegrini put the ultimate faith in the 36-year-old veteran midfielder and Lampard repaid him. The former England midfielder is the consummate professional and always gave City his all despite his loyalties obviously lying with their title rivals.
He is the only candidate for City’s signing of the season as all the others must either be regarded as flops or did not receive enough game-time to warrant being chosen. Although Lampard started most games on the bench, he scored six goals in 32 league appearances. His goals per 90 minutes of 0.54 is the sixth highest in the Premier League for players who made 25 or more appearances, proving that he has not lost his knack of sniffing out goal-scoring opportunities. He will not be remembered for his solitary year at City but his stint at the Etihad was a hugely successful one.
Worst signing – Fernando
It was tough to choose between Fernando and Eliaquim Mangala as City’s worst signing of the season, but the Brazilian was given the nod as Mangala has improved alongside Martin Demichelis in recent weeks. City’s midfield has been crying out for a defensive midfielder to complement the likes of Fernandinho and especially Yaya Toure in recent years, and there were high hopes for Fernando when he moved to the club from FC Porto last summer.
Unfortunately for Pellegrini, he has just not performed to the level which he believed he was capable of. Fernando is error prone and quite clumsy whilst offering very little in a forward capacity. He lacks the mobility which is necessary to play in a two-man midfield in the Premier League. If we are comparing him to the best in his position this season, Nemanja Matic, he is not in the same league as the Chelsea enforcer.
City’s move for Fernando sent out all the right signals as they were improving an area of their side which they significantly lacked in last season but he is just not good enough to play regularly for a team who want to win Premier League and Champions League. The best option for City would be to admit they made a mistake, move him on and sign a top class replacement this summer.