Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Near Brighton.

Waiting for the new season to start is like waiting for Christmas or birthdays at 5 years old, it just can't come soon enough. And after the sublime end to last season coupled with the stunning football we witnessed for the most part, it would be fair to say that City fans are probably looking forward to the new season more than most.

From the outside looking in, it appears the squad is pretty settled despite the massive egos that need constant attention according to Petr Cech. We might just stand a chance of winning the Premier League if they can be kept under control, he added. Oh if only that were possible Petr...

Thankfully City's interactive media team are providing us with some fantastic videos on a daily basis so we can get at least a small City fix until the season starts. For those who have been watching, one of the few changes to the squad that looks to be almost nailed on (pending a successful work permit application) is Nir Biton.

The Isreali midfielder had a trial at City in January but there were problems with attaining a work permit at that time, obviously he impressed Mancini enough for the Club to try again, and according to his agent, the deal looks set to successfully conclude before long.

Biton did feature in City's first friendly of pre-season against Al Hilal, and for those that managed to watch it you will have probably guessed where this blog was going from the title. The commentator was dreadful and was struggling with simple names, never mind Elabdellaoui (pronounced Elabdabooboo at one point).

But I digress. Nir has a similar physique to a young Yaya Toure and plays a very similar game to the Ivorian. With Yaya hitting the big 3 0 this coming season, Biton is likely seen as a potential long-term replacement in the next couple of seasons.

One thing is for sure, he doesn't look out of place on the training ground during high-intensity practise matches. We know they're at a higher intensity to a few Premier League clubs through Gael Clichy who stated that he was very surprised when he came to City at just how physical the training games are compared to that of Arsenal's.

Will he have the ability to make the massive leap from the Israeli Premier League to the English one? Who knows, but the initial signs are promising and at only 20 years old he has already impressed the manager enough to include him in this summer's pre-season tour despite not properly signing yet.

Hopefully we will be able to get to see more of him tonight, along with several other promising young players, when City take on Dynamo Dresden in the 2nd friendly of the Austrian tour.

Twitter: @MikeWalshMCFC
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