Sevilla have announced the return of Jesus Navas to the club after the Spanish international signed a four year contract. The 31 year old was previously with Manchester City but was let go by compatriot Pep Guardiola at the end of last season.
That decision by the former Barcelona boss to let the World Cup winner leave The Etihad bought to an end the four year stint that the 31 year old had in Manchester and it is fair to say that he perhaps did not set the Premier League with a solid but not spectacular set of performances for the club.
He did manage 123 Premier League appearances for Manchester City but only returned four goals during his time at the club, which for someone who plays predominately as a winger is not really a substantial enough of a return. Especially when those goals came in his debut season.
A debut season which saw him make 30 top flight appearances as City went on to win their second Premier League title in just three seasons but that was arguably as good as it got for the Spaniard as the level of performances never really got anywhere close for the rest of his time at the club.
Although he was a near ever present in the following two season missing out in just seven of the 76 matches played over that course of the times, he was largely ineffectual as City first failed to defend their title and then were caught up in the madness which was Leicester’s fairy tale success.
Last season saw Navas also trialled as a right back under Pep Guardiola and to be fair he looked a decent enough transition but you always got the feeling that he was just plugging a gap before the transfer window re-opened a and additions to the squad could be made.
And with Guardiola’s decision to let five senior players go at the end of last season it came as no real surprise that Navas was not offered a new contract, at the same time it probably comes as no surprise that the player has returned home to Sevilla.
In addition to winning the World Cup in 2010, he was also part of the Sevilla team that won back to back Uefa Cup’s in 2006 and 2o07. After the second of those victories he was drawing the attention of other clubs in Europe but his chronic homesickness meant that a move away could never be realistically entertained.
So a move back to Sevilla where he has already spent nine seasons at the club previously was always going to be where the smart money lied in regards to his next destination. Not only that but if he makes 27 more appearances for the club he will break the long standing appearance record held by Juan Arza Inigo.
With Vitolo moving onto Atletico Madrid this summer then Sevilla were no doubt looking for someone to fill that wide berth, whether or not Navas will still have the same pace he displayed a decade or so ago is unlikely but he will still be a very useful signing especially as he arrives on a free transfer.