21yr old Jack Rodwell has become Manchester City’s first summer signing in a transfer worth £15 million possibly rising to £18 million.
Jack Rodwell has left Everton to go to Manchester, but to everyone’s surprise it isn’t United he had signed for but rather City. For the last couple of seasons Rodwell to United has been the rumour, whether it was during the summer or January transfer windows, but no one expected that he would be leaving for City.
United, who have also been rumoured to be interested in Everton’s Leighton Baines, signed Everton’s rising star Wayne Rooney back in 2004 for £25 million with add on’s so with their transfer history it always seemed a matter of when not if he signed for them. This can be only seen as another blow for United as City continues to show their dominance over their city rivals.
Rodwell has been at the club since the age of seven and has risen through the ranks of Everton’s impressive youth system and leaving the club after so long musn’t have been easy. In a statement he released Rodwell said “I would like to place on record my thanks to everyone at Everton Football Club. The Manager has been brilliant for me and helped make me the player that I am today. My thanks go to him and all the coaching staff and players who have worked with me since I joined the academy as a 7 year old. I have a special relationship with the Chairman, Mr Kenwright, who did not want me to leave.” Before adding “Finally I would like to thank all the fans who have been amazing during my years at Everton. I have enjoyed every minute of my time there and I wish everyone at the club the best of luck for the new season and beyond.”
Rodwell made his debut for Everton at just 16 years old in a European game against AZ Alkmaar and would go on to make his league debut the same season. Coming through the ranks quickly at Everton it was clear to everyone at the club that they had on their hands another gem, but much like with Wayne Rooney they didn’t want to push him to quickly for their and the players own interest. The following season though Rodwell saw a lot more games, making in total 25 appearances for the Toffees.
Rodwell’s career continued to grow as he had yet another impressive season with Everton making 36 appearances in all competitions and was in England’s U-21 squad for the 2009 European U-21 tournament. Along with Rodwell the squad had Joe Hart, James Milner, Adam Johnson, Fabrice Muamba, Theo Walcott and Micah Richards. They reached the final but in the end lost to the impressive German side that had Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil to name just a few. Rodwell has been capped at Senior level and is currently in the Hodgson’s England squad to face Italy in Switzerland next week.
Rodwell has had a few injuries in his career but nothing altogether that lengthy and has gone on to make over 100 appearances for Everton primarily in midfield as a defensive midfielder and more recently in a more attacking midfielder role, but where will he feature for City?
With so many players from the U-21 squad that he was with in 2009 at City it wont take long for Rodwell to fit in with the squad, but with De Jong, Yaya Toure and Gareth Barry in the centre of midfield I worry that Rodwell’s development will stall somewhat, and could be a player going out on loan in a season or two. I hope this doesn’t happen, but at the moment I don’t see him getting picked ahead of Yaya Toure or Gareth Barry meaning he will be fighting Nigel De Jong for playing time. I guess in the FA Cup and the League Cup (I can’t yet bring myself to start calling it the Capital One Cup, Sorry)
In the past many thought that Rodwell would take up a role as a defender but that didn’t happen at Everton, but maybe Mancini will look at that and try him in that position along with his new 3-4-1-2 formation. It seems that Rodwell though is more than ready and is looking forward to challenging for his place in the side stating “I relish the opportunity of playing with some of the best players in the world and continuing my development. I look forward to working with Mr Mancini and his coaching staff and ultimately playing in front of the City fans at the Etihad Stadium.”
Now that the transfer of Rodwell to City has been completed can we expect the sale of Clint Dempsey to get underway as they are apart of the same agent group.