So, the first signing of the summer is through the door and is one Patrick Roberts.
For anyone who hasn’t heard, he’s a 22-year-old Londoner whose formative years were spent at Fulham, where he was awarded his first pro contract, making his first-team debut at the age of 17.
A year later Man City then hoovered him up – a fee rumoured to be in the region of £12 million – and did what they tend to do with their stack of talented youngsters, which was give him a few sniffs of first-team football before loaning him out.
Celtic were the beneficiaries and it was a spell that eventually lasted over two years and which included him being an integral part of Brendan Rodgers’ 2016-17 ‘invincibles’.
An injury and a subsequent loss of a starting XI berth signalled the end of his time in Glasgow, so it was to one of City’s many partner clubs – Girona in Spain – where he was sent next to continue his football education.
His La Liga experience didn’t quite go as planned and, not helped by some injuries, his 19 games didn’t produce a goal and Girona were relegated.
But, there’s clearly a talented player in there, one who ticks virtually every box in Stuart Webber’s theoretical chart, including the bit about having experienced, for whatever reason, a plateau in his still-fledgeling career.
In addition to having flair and talent, and needing a new direction, he’s also clearly of sound, modest character and generally sounds like a good lad – qualities that Webber and Daniel Farke hold very dear.
So, what’s not to like. He’s left-footed but has played most of his career on the right, and he likes to dribble; a quality that will enhance the current group, which for going past defenders relies heavily on the twisting and turning of Onel Hernandez.
A nice touch was that he sought advice from ex-teammate Angus Gunn, who unsurprisingly did a fine job in selling our club to Roberts.
So, welcome aboard young man. You’re in safe hands.
There was plenty of online sniffiness about the quality of last night’s Champions League Final, and there’s no denying that as a spectacle it didn’t deliver in the way BT Sport executives and pundits had dreamt it, but was it really such a surprise?
The three-week gap between the final Premier League game and the final was always likely to induce some rustiness and so it proved, even for the players who had been playing regularly at the end of the season.
For those that hadn’t, especially Harry Kane and Firminho, it was a classic case study in the difference between being fit and being match fit. Think Flecky at Hillsborough in the 1992 FA Cup semi-final.
And while we’re using City analogies – think the 1985 Milk Cup. An absolute stinker of a final if ever there was one, but did any of us care one jot that it had not tickled the fancy of the watching millions?
Of course not.
And so, as excruciating as it was to watch Liverpool celebrate, knowing how insufferable some of their fans are going to be in its prolonged aftermath (and no we won’t be doing a guard of honour at Carrow Road), the fact it wasn’t a “classic” mustn’t detract from the achievement.
As much as I wanted Spurs to triumph last night – any club that goes through two transfer windows without spending a penny is fine by me – it’s hard to argue that after the season they’ve had, Liverpool didn’t deserve to lift some silverware.
The kick-back is we’re all going to pay for it – big time.
We’ve spoken at length about the safe hands we feel that we’re in right now, with Stuart Webber expertly overseeing the strategy and Daniel Farke leading an equally adept coaching team.
Well, if there is anyone out there who is still left in any doubt, please please please read the series of articles on the Pink Un, borne of a long chat Webber had with Archant’s Paddy Davit.
Not only was he his usual honest and frank self, but he gave this perfect insight into how dealing with a transfer window in the Premier League differs from the Championship equivalent.
He referred to one agent who ‘offered’ him a player for £120k a week, citing to Paddy that our total weekly wage bill won’t be as much as that, and also had a giggle at the £15 million we were supposed to be prepared to pay for Simon Mignolet.
All of which cleverly sets the scene around the realities of this window for City, and how ours will be the most modest of all 20 Premier League teams.
He also reiterated the point about the required strength of character of any new signings and how important it is they fit in with the characters in the current group. “We have lost players this window already because they don’t fit into what we want to do. Okay, so you are not for us. The collective is much more important.”
It’s a cliché but there’s no other way of putting it. We really are in safe hands.