You know, surprising as it may seem, it really looks like Manchester City are only in the market for one new left back when not so long ago, I could have sworn we needed two.
It only seems like yesterday that on every MCFC fan forum, hundreds of us were calling for a post-Kolarov Man City. How things have changed under Guardiola. Those deafening entreaties have all but disappeared. It gradually dawned on people that Kolarov has a contract and that contract expires in the summer of 2018 not 2017. It seems Guardiola respects contracts. When asked whether Vincent Kompany would be in his plans for next season, the Catalan simply replied: “Yes. He has a contract.”
So there you have it. It seems that although nowadays Kolarov is mainly employed as an auxiliary centre back, he will continue in his last season in this manner and as a substitute left back – a substitute for someone younger, quicker and crucially someone who can make more goal-saving blocks and tackles. We can’t get rid just yet. Kola’s got a contract. Like it or not, we’ll get to hear one more spooky rendition of a Classic Christmas Song before his race is run.
One thing’s for sure though. It’s Au revoir, Monsieur Clichy. The fact that the Frenchman has often been an understudy to Kolarov tells you all you need to know. In his prime Clichy was tidy and effective although he has always had a maddening tendency to make progress up the wing, only to turn and come back again to deliver a backward or a sideways pass. Unlike Kolarov, he offers very little going forward. Nowadays, a yard or two of pace has been lost and the number of costly gaffes has increased exponentially.
What about Jose Angel Tasende? Apparently the youngster who used to have Angelino on the back of his shirt has decided to switch to the less stellar moniker of ‘Tasende’ and many believe that to have been a good decision. No point having an exciting Brazilian-style name if you can’t walk the walk and according to most observers, it’s going to be another year on loan for the kid. And this year may be his last in blue: Tasende is rapidly reaching the end of the runway and this Angel doesn’t look like he’s gonna fly.
According to the archives going back over several months at the excellent CityWatch website, 9 names keep resurfacing as candidates.
They are :
1.Benjamin Mendy (Monaco) Why? Because he’s an absolute powerhouse! Why not? It might end up being one sale too many for Monaco.
2. Alex Sandro (Juventus) Why? Because he’s really, really good. Why not? Because he’s the youngest member of Allegri’s famed back four and therefore the lest likely to be sold. He plays foe Juventus. (see my previous piece: The Realities of Man City Transfers)
3. Juan Bernat (Bayern Munich) Why? Because he looks the business. Why not? Because Bayern. (see my previous piece: The Realities of Man City Transfers)
4. Faouzi Ghoulam (Napoli) Why? Because he won’t sign a new contract at Napoli, he’s a good age at 26 and he wouldn’t cost a fortune (Approx 12-15m). Why not? Hot competition as several other big clubs are interested.
5. Jose Luis Gaya (Valencia) Why? Because we could swap him for Mangala. Why not? A little bit short and physically slight for the Premier League.
6. Álex Grimaldo Why? Because he is a La Masia graduate. Why not? Inexperienced. It’s a bit soon for him to move.
7. Ryan Bertrand (Southampton) Why? Because he’s pretty good, homegrown and Premier League-experienced. Why not? May not be quite good enough and because we might get gouged on the price due to his homegrown status. (see my previous piece: The Realities of Man City Transfers)
Verdict from The Blue:
Mendy all the way for me. Robust, fast as lightning, European-experienced and best fitted for the English league.
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