Caicedo's departure cuts bloated forward line

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The Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo has moved to Sporting Lisbon on loan after conceding that dropping down the pecking order at Eastlands is inevitable.

The arrival of Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez and Roque Santa Cruz this summer means the Ecuadorian's first-team chances were likely to be limited at City and as a result the club have allowed him to join Sporting on a season-long loan. "My objective is to play and to demonstrate that I can triumph in Europe," Caicedo said yesterday. "City have many forwards who have arrived this summer and they have complicated my presence. For me it is difficult to get in the starting XI at City and the opportunity to go to Sporting is a personal challenge to me. I don't think it will be a problem to adapt to life in Portugal and the possibility to play in the Champions League appeals to me."

With fellow striker Ched Evans on the verge of a move to Championship side Sheffield United, it still leaves the City manager Mark Hughes with seven forwards to choose from. Last summer's British transfer record signing Robinho, Craig Bellamy, the injury-plagued Valeri Bojinov and Benjani Mwaruwari are the others.

Hughes has insisted that the pressure of handling big-name players presents no challenge to him. "It doesn't faze me at all. I understand it's a big responsibility and it's up to me to make sure we blend the team in the right manner and we get a winning team," he said. "Everybody has a view on how you deal with big players and big world stars, the likes of Carlos Tevez. But from dealing with top players, the reason they are top players is because they have certain qualities and certain attributes and blend themselves to being top professionals."