The Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern have been largely disappointed by the news that their club have agreed a deal with Wolves over the transfer of Oleksandr Zinchenko, although any potential deal hinges on his willingness to move to Molineux.
Following a season of admirable compromise and exemplary professionalism from Zinchenko in which he predominantly played as a left-back to fill in for the injured Benjamin Mendy and Fabian Delph, the Ukraine international has been presented with an opportunity to depart the club.
It would be grossly unfair to criticise Man City for accepting a £12 million fee which could rise to £16 million as reported by journalist Tim Nash (via CityWatch) – a transfer which carries a feeling of inevitability.
A growing trend in clubs who aim to challenge for honours in the Premier League concerns their approach towards the academy.
No longer is the academy a breeding ground for young talent to showcase their potential and eventually climb through the ranks into the senior squad, it is now a money-making machine designed to prepare players for a future career at the top level, but not with the club they begin their journey with.
The case of Zinchenko is different as he only joined City in 2016 in a deal worth £1.6 million, but the same principle seems to have applied to a player who is certainly capable of holding his own in the Champions League at just 22-year-old.
That principle is of course, that, first and foremost, emerging talent can be used to balance the books after demonstrating a certain level of potential either on loan or following a handful of sporadic appearances at their host club – potential which justifiably commands a generous transfer fee.
It’s difficult to argue with that approach and fire criticism towards a club’s hierarchy who are tasked with balancing the books whilst financing high quality acquisitions and paying out extortionate wages to players in this financially mind-boggling modern era.
Of course, that will not ease the natural concerns of Brahim Diaz who will certainly have taken note of City’s decision to sell both Pablo Maffeo and now Zinchenko and consider it an indication that he may suffer the same fate in the near future.
The question Diaz unfortunately needs to ask himself is: am I playing for my Man City future or for my transfer value?
At this moment in time it’s likely that City have not completely decided on whether Diaz has a part to play in the future or whether they are merely preparing him for a big-money transfer in the coming years.
With that in mind, the upcoming season could be absolutely crucial for Diaz’s future at the Etihad Stadium regardless of whether he is sent out on loan or is used as a backup player once again.
Zinchenko’s imminent sale is proof that consistently solid performances for the first-team squad may not be enough to secure a place within one of the most competitive squads in world football, so Diaz will certainly have plenty to be concerned about this summer as City’s latest move suggests his long-term future will be played away from the club.
Man City fans – thoughts? Let us know below!