One of the biggest disappointments for me over recent years in the English Premier League is that we never got to see enough of the Brazilian midfielder Elano.
Yesterday Galatasaray completed the signing of Elano from Manchester City to bring an end to the playerÃ¢â‚¬Ëœs two years in England. He has signed a four-year contract with the Turkish side and will officially join the club today.
The twenty-eight year old impressed in his first season at the City of Manchester Stadium but didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem to be part of Mark HughesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ plans last season or this coming season.
Hughes told the BBC,
“It’s a big year for Ela, a World Cup year and the guarantee that he would play week in week out wasn’t there for him. I think that was key to his decision to leave. He’s moved on and it’s a good deal for the club and a good deal for him as well by all accounts. We wish him well.”
Elano played thirty-four league games for City in his first season but only twenty-eight last time around. Whilst he has managed to establish himself in the Brazil national squad for who he has played thirty-four times, he has gradually fallen out of favour at City and was deemed surplus to requirements at the club after Hughes, backed by City’s multi-billionaire owners, embarked on a massive spending spree this summer.
So far City have signed strikers Roque Santa Cruz, Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor, midfielder Gareth Barry and defender Kolo Toure. Other high profile signings are still expected.
After signing for City in the summer of 2007 for Ã‚Â£8 million from Shakhtar Donetsk his record at the club will show that he played eighty times and scored eighteen goals. What that record will not show is that, at times, he played with the type of exquisite skill and rare flair that we rarely see in the English game.
The problem with Elano seems to centre around his attitude and work-rate. It seems that he has to be Ã¢â‚¬Ëœin the right moodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ to produce his brilliance. Many Manchester City fans have said that he fails to ever produce his best in away games, but to be fair, that could be said of a lot of CityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s players in the recent past.
It is true that Elano is inconsistent and it is true that when the team have got to roll their sleeves up and battle it out for a result he is not one of the best to call on. It is true that he is something of a luxury player and you have to put up with an awful lot of mediocrity in order to see the brilliance. It is also true that he would have probably only been a bit part player this season.
Despite all that I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help feeling a little sad that he is leaving the English game. He is one of the few players with the ability to do something that takes your breath away. I wish him well at Galatasaray.