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Man Utd 20:00 Man City

City would miss Barton - Opta

By Paul Townley.   Last Updated: 26/07/05 9:27am

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Joey Barton's future as a Manchester City player has once again been thrown into doubt with his off-field antics causing the club's hierarchy to consider the young midfielder's employment.

There would be no shortage of takers for the 22-year-old's services and the loss of Barton would be a massive blow for Stuart Pearce having already lost Shaun Wright-Phillips and Paul Bosvelt this summer.

Barton scored just once in the league last season, away at Bolton Wanderers, but despite seven City players making more appearances than the tenacious midfielder, his influence on the team was dramatic.

City's number 24 led his team in assists, passes, crosses, tackles, fouls and yellow cards from the middle of City's midfield. These statistics are even more impressive given that Barton played three games fewer than Shaun Wright-Phillips who departed for £21 million.

With Manchester City opening their campaign at home to West Bromwich Albion on August 13, Barton's attendance will be decided in the corridors of The City of Manchester stadium and not by within the confines of City's pre-season schedule.

PlayerJoey BartonLeague RankTeam Rank
Minutes On Pitch25031027
Shots On Target11=96=6
Shots Off Target14=1046
Goal Assists5=23=1
Dribbles & Runs120=672
Yellow Cards9=21


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