Jesus Navas now ready for Manchester City life, says mentor Juande Ramos following transfer of Spain international

Spaniard will thrive in Manchester, says former manager, as he loves to run with the ball

It was not so long ago that the fastest thing on four legs in Spain was the right-hand side of the Sevilla team. Manchester City's new signing Jesus Navas, in tandem with Brazil's Dani Alves, tore up La Liga and European opposition on their way to winning the 2006 and 2007 Uefa Cups as well as the Spanish and European Super Cups, and two Copa del Reys.

Today few players in world football run faster with the ball than 27-year-old Navas; back then, with Alves as his running mate and coached by Juande Ramos, they made Sevilla unstoppable.

Ramos, who knows plenty about the player and the challenge facing him having moved to England from Sevilla himself, can see him thriving on the Premier League stage. "The football, and the way teams tend to defend, will suit him," says the former Tottenham Hotspur coach who believes the back-and-forth anarchy of many Premier League matches will be perfect for a player at his best when running into space and at a flat opposition defence.

"He will enjoy himself," he says. "In England they love players that run with the ball and he is a player that responds to the crowd – that happened in Sevilla and it will happen in Manchester."

Sevilla's success brought Navas trophies but it also took him to the crossroads of his career – Alves was sold to Barcelona in 2008 and with coach Ramos also gone and Navas' lifelong friend Sergio Ramos long since left for Real Madrid, he was on his own.

Many thought the player who had turned down a European Championship call-up that summer from Luis Aragones because he still felt unprepared to be away from his home town would now never top those club successes. But he adapted. Sevilla were never as successful without Alves but Navas' first season after the Brazilian's departure was as good as any of the three before it and he showed a versatility that will serve him well under Pellegrini, who has never hidden his lack of enthusiasm for orthodox wingers.

"He played on the right-hand side for me because I had other options on the left but he is capable of playing on the other flank or through the middle behind the striker as he has shown since," says Ramos.

In 2010, with Spain's then technical director Fernando Hierro having persuaded Navas to finally accept the national call-up, the player travelled to South Africa as Spain tried to win their first World Cup. During the final against Holland the work put into convincing him paid off as, with an electric extra-time appearance as a substitute against stubborn opponents, he was instrumental in sealing victory.

In minute 115 a Dutch attack broke down and Carles Puyol played the ball out to Navas hugging the right touchline level with his own penalty area. He drifted past the first orange shirt with one touch and then set off on the charge carrying the ball into the Dutch half.

When the ball was finally prodded away from him, it ran to Andres Iniesta and after a move involving Cesc Fabregas, Navas again and Fernando Torres, finally Fabregas teed up Iniesta to score the most famous goal in Spain's history.

Vicente Del Bosque, the national coach, says: "He is in a permanent state of excitement on the pitch. There is a dynamism about him that makes him one of those rare players who can change the way an entire team is playing."

Navas remains an impact substitute for the Spain coach. But that does not mean he is an afterthought: he is seen as an invaluable weapon in Spain's at-times predictable armoury. He can pass it like the Barcelona players; but he can also run with it too, as he did at the Dutch in Johannesburg in 2010.

Will the original reluctance to broaden his horizons as far as the national team not hold him back now? "He was very young when he was first called up," says Ramos. "He had never been away from home; an awful lot has changed since then. He was away for a month with the squad that won the World Cup, and then again for the Euros. He is a different person now."

Ramos believes that his new environment will still take some getting used to. "The biggest problem will come off the pitch," he says. "He is going from the south of Spain to the north of England. Andalucia has a warm climate and people live much of their lives outside. "

He was just 22 when he could not be persuaded by Aragones to go to the European Championship in Austria and Switzerland. Two years later he was ready. And he became a World Champion.

He might still need looking after. There was a warm congratulatory embrace for him from best friend Sergio Ramos at Spain's Las Rosas training camp.

"He will have other players at the club who will help him adapt and understand the transition," says Juande Ramos. "There is David Silva, Javi Garcia, Sergio Aguero and [Pablo] Zabaleta. It will not be a problem."

Sevilla turn down West Ham bid for Negredo

The Sevilla president, Jose Maria del Nido, has claimed the club have rejected a £14.5m offer from West Ham for striker Alvaro Negredo.

Having just sold Jesus Navas, Del Nido insisted he wanted Negredo to remain at the club. "He has four years left on his contract," Del Nido said of the 27-year-old. "He is at home here.

"The summer will tell us in due course if he will still be with us, but if you ask my opinion I'd rather there were no bids. West Ham offered €17m with more in incentives but we do not value the offer and the player refused."

The Hammers last month agreed a £15m fee with Liverpool for striker Andy Carroll, who has yet to decide on his next move.

Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
people
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Sport
football
News
i100
News
Perry says: 'Psychiatrists give help because they need help. You would not be working in mental health if you didn't have a curiosity about how the mind works.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?