I wrote the other day about the importance of balance, and I think Manchester City signing Kevin de Bruyne is a great example of this concept. De Bruyne is a great player who seems to have a huge upside and no one seems to balk at his huge price tag (and the huge profit they’re sending to Wolfsburg after just one year). My prediction model doesn’t like him – making him a couple point decrease in expected value over both Navas and Nasri.
I’m in the minority, but I think a big part of the problem is that Navas and Nasri are better creators, stay out on the right wing, and most importantly stay out of David Silva’s (and to a lesser extent, Yaya Toure when he comes forward) way. They give City needed width, and create more than they shoot. They give City the balance they need and fit the system, and I think my model is picking up on that in a lot of ways. He’s a couple point loss so it’s a small shift in any given game, but over the course of the season, if City wants to compete for the title, those points could be huge.