Patrick Vieira joins Manchester City’s £100,000 club
• 33-year-old looking to earn France recall
• Vieira could make debut against Blackburn
Patrick Vieira, here in Internazionale colours, could be handed the Manchester City captaincy while Kolo Touré is at the Africa Cup of Nations. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA
Patrick Vieira, one of the more formidable competitors to grace the Premier League, has returned to English football as part of Manchester City’s money-no-object bid to be recognised among the sport’s leading forces. The former Arsenal captain was in Manchester tonightto finalise the details of his contract and take a medical examination and has been lined up to make his debut in Monday night’s game against Blackburn Rovers.
Four and a half years since leaving England, the man whose clashes with Roy Keane came to epitomise Arsenal’s rivalry with Manchester United will join the growing band of players at City to be paid in excess of £100,000-a-week, initially on a six-month contract but with the option of another year written into the terms. The 33-year-old has lost his place in the France national squad after being marginalised at Internazionale under José Mourinho and said he was returning to England to further his ambitions of playing in a fourth World Cup.
“I set myself an objective – I want to go to the World Cup,” Vieira, who has not played in a competitive fixture for France since September 2007, said. “The important thing for me is to go to Manchester City and to show the coach [Roberto Mancini] I’m the same player as when he was in charge of Inter.” (Guardian)
Many have suggested that Manchester City shouldn’t expect the Patrick Vieira who ruled the Premier League roost when he was at his imperious best whilst Arsenal and that the veteran French International is a shadow of his former self, those who make these statements are probably missing the point.
Whilst its true that the 33 year old is not the same powerhouse that was at the top of his game five years or more ago but the Inter Milan man still has a great deal to offer and is an absolute bargain capture by Manchester City.
I don’t see Roberto Mancini looking to play Vieira regularly and the Italian boss is probably looking to the vastly experienced midfield battler to be a fulcrum to call upon at crucial moments and a player who’s mere presence on the field of play and dressing room can have a positive effect.
Certainly in the short term, i.e the second half of this season, Patrick can be a good source of determination to help stem the tide of opposition attacks and offer support to an at times flimsy defence. This signing is an intelligent one and there is no doubt that a plethora of top notch clubs would have been chasing the World Cup winner.