Scott Sinclair’s move to Manchester City could damage his football career

by Chris Teale

Ambition is definitely something to be admired in young footballers. However, the ambition demonstrated by Scott Sinclair in his move to Manchester City should be regarded with caution.

In the worst-case scenario, it could be highly detrimental to his career and his development as a Premier League footballer.

The warning signs are there for Sinclair in the shape of Adam Johnson, another highly talented English winger who recently made the move away from the Etihad Stadium to Sunderland for £10 million.

A product of Middlesbrough’s youth academy, Johnson was regarded as one of the hottest properties in English football, with some even regarding him more highly than his Riverside contemporary, Stewart Downing.

Johnson made the move to Manchester in February 2010 for an undisclosed fee, and then spent three seasons on the fringes of the City first team, impressing when given the chance on the field by unable to secure himself regular time on the pitch.

After a frustrating spell with the club, where he made 97 appearances in all competitions and scored 15 goals, Johnson has now returned to the north east with Sunderland, hoping to truly fulfil his early promise in the red and white of the Black Cats, and hold onto his place in the England squad.

Whether Johnson’s move to Manchester prevents his career developed as it had once promised, only time will tell. However, his example could be an object lesson for Sinclair, another young and exciting English winger who appears to have a bright future ahead of him.

Sinclair began his career as a trainee at Chelsea, but could not break into the Blues’ first team, as players of the calibre of Damien Duff, Jesper Gronjkaer and Arjen Robben stood in his way.

Several loan spells saw Sinclair play for clubs such as Crystal Palace and Birmingham City, before Chelsea chose not to renew his contract in 2010 and release him. From there, the then-21-year-old was forced to work his way up the English football pyramid with Swansea, who took him on a free transfer.

Great success has since followed for Sinclair, as he helped the Swans seal promotion from the Championship, culminating in a superb hat-trick in the play-off final victory over Reading at Wembley in 2011.

His and Swansea’s first season in the Premier League, with both the club and their star winger enjoyed a great deal of success, as the Swans finished 11th.
On a personal level, Sinclair played a key role in the Welsh side’s exciting brand of football, and he played in all 38 Premier League games for the club, scoring eight goals and providing numerous assists from the left wing.

His form took him to the Olympic Games during the summer, making four appearances for Stuart Pearce’s side and scoring one goal against the United Arab Emirates as Great Britain reached the quarter finals of the London tournament.

This summer, he refused to sign a new contract with the Swans, and was subject to a bid from the Premier League champions that was accepted on August 25th, and will now join up with his new team-mates.

However, this move could be a negative one for Sinclair. As of now, he is not quite the game-changing winger that can gain extensive first-team football in the City side. Perhaps in a few years, he could be an England regular and a world-class winger, but he is neither of those right now.

In David Silva, Sinclair has a potential mentor who happens to be one of the best in his position in the world. However, Sinclair will find himself below Silva in the pecking order, and as with Johnson, his career could suffer if he does not gain regular time on the pitch.

Currently, Scott Sinclair is a very exciting prospect who should go right to the top of English football, and be a key member of the national side. However, while he may learn a lot at Manchester City, it may be slightly too early for him to ply his trade with one of England’s top clubs.

7 Responses

  1. Wayne Rugney says:

    This laughable article is utter piffle. The person who did most to damage Adam Johnsons career was the man himself. He was given lenty chances to shine but having the ability is not enough without the application. Maybe if he spent less time in bars he might reach his potential.

  2. J.M says:

    City were hardly detrimental to Johnsons career. He was a decent young player going nowhere with nobody willing to take a risk on him. He joined City and now he’s had England caps and goals and a glowing reputation. The only reason he didn’t play more at City is because he doesn’t listen to instructions and doesn’t work hard enough for a top team.

  3. Bob the Baker says:

    City have hardly been a bad move for Hart,Barry,Milner,Lescott & Richards. These have thrived under Mancini, instead of City bashing, why not ask yourselves why Johnno has left.

    Mancini has given Johnson many last chances. He is a great player at times,but tends to go missing during matches. Also,it is heavily rumoured that his social life has a detrimental effect on his performances.

    1. Ian says:

      While it is true that city has done Hart well, to compare Barry Milner and Lescott, who all moved to city after being well established stars in the premier league for a few seasons with Scott Sinclair is ridiculous.

      Barry at the time had just been courted unsuccessfully by Liverpool and joined City when he was 28. Lescott joined at the age of 27.

      Milner, after being Aston Villa’s player of the year, starring in a central playmaking role never really played the role for city consistently, shunted to the right wing, where he was dropped after failing to impress, and used as a utility player all round, even at right back.

      This article is hardly city bashing, but is mainly pointing out the danger of a young player, moving to a top club, where expectations are a lot higher. You can expect that even if Sinclair has the chance to become a top level player, if he cannot perform at that level immediately, he will find his gametime restricted as Johnson has.

      Johnson may be inconsistent and have an attitude problem, but inconsistency and mentality can change as a player grows older and plays more.

  4. Win Soon says:

    There is no one to blame for Johnson’s loss. The winger was frustrating at times and in sinclair Mancini has found some one else who can surpass what Johnson has achieved. Furthermore, City seem to be without out and out wingers and he can offer a new dimension to the attack. I expect him to be used more frequently as a game changer rather than a bench warmer

  5. charlie jax says:

    im sorry but do even watch football or have any decent knowledge of the game scot sinclair did not come to swansea on a free the fee was half a million and another half million when we got promoted to the premiership,the only thing you have right in this article is a move to man city would ruin his career yes it would simply because he is not good enough the sooner he leaves the better scot plays when he wants to when he is in the mood or when his mrs wants to move back to manchester if it was up to me i would pay both their train fares to manchester but only one way good riddance thats what i say from a life long swans season ticket holder ta ra scot

  6. Jamie says:

    It won’t work out. Sinclair had a good home at Swansea, an important spot in a team clearly going places. It’s sad that he’s given into the financial lure of City and the demands of his WAG other half rather than wanted to progress his football career. Can’t blame him really but nobody’s treating this as a good move for his career and nobody should be surprised if we hear much less from him in the next couple of seasons.

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