The moment Pep arrived in Manchester, Joe’s Man City career looked doomed. The goalkeeper had returned from an incredibly disappointing campaign with England, where he had lost his untouchable status as Numero Uno for his country.
He is not traditionally known as a great passer, something Pep was after, while he also had a shorter pre-season due to international responsibilities, meaning Caballero had extra time to learn Pep’s style of play and prove himself as a contender. The moment Pep brought in Bravo though, this was the final straw, as Hart dropped down to third choice, something simply not acceptable for a goalkeeper that was perceived as one of the best in the world only a couple of years ago.
On To Torino
While Torino might not have seemed like an obvious choice, Hart was left with very little options and a short period of time left in the transfer window.
Liverpool were a potential option, however they had already bought Karius from Germany. A few other teams in England were mooted with an interest, however they had already purchased someone in this position, therefore the only option available seemed to be abroad.
Either way, this was a big coup for Torino, a mid-table team in Italy. He has performed decently, albeit conceding a few of those mishaps that have plagued him in recent years. He seems to have settled well, even talking Italian in his opening press conference, which is very rare for an Englishman abroad.
Despite all this, he has seemed determined to return to England at the end of the year, not citing Torino as a long term option. This now opens up the debate of where he will be next year.
Pep has hinted recently he is very happy with his two goalkeepers. While many cite this as a clear sign he has been impressed with their performances, I see this as a mere confidence boost to the two men battling for the goalkeeper position, as let’s be serious, both have underperformed this year.
Bravo has been a 100% failed signing, however you can’t knock Pep for believing he’d do better considering his performances over the past 5 years for both club and country.
Either way, Bravo looks like a sub at best and Caballero will be off in the summer, with his contract coming to an end and no hints that it will be renewed. This would suggest there might be a position for Hart if he were to return and get a full pre-season under his belt, learning the ‘Pep way’, however due to the circumstances in August, I don’t believe Hart see’s his future at the Etihad, nor does Pep.
Looking at the clubs that might be interested, Liverpool are an obvious option, with Mignolet and Karius both at substitute level at best. Karius has potential to improve over time, however Mignolet has had years to prove himself and will most likely be moved on in the summer. Whether Klopp opts for Hart on the other hand may be another question, but we will have to see.
They are the only ‘top 6’ team in England that would consider going for the lad, so looking a bit further down the table, Everton could potentially be intrigued, while West Ham could always do with an improvement in this area.
Joe Hart has never been about the money, therefore the chances of him settling for a final hoorah in China or USA seems unlikely, so we will most likely be seeing him on Match Of The Day next year, just which team we don’t know.