Here are Manchester City’s most desperately needed 5 summer signings.
We are all still in dreamland since the capture of Bernardo Silva, but our most urgent needs have not yet been met.
If we can land these five guys, I am convinced next season’s Premier League title and a thrilling Champions league campaign would be ours.
Here they are in order of our level of need:
1. Kyle Walker. Position: Right Back.
Why? Because with the departures of both Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna, we haven’t got any right backs! Pablo Maffeo is probably not quite ready for the big time although there is a chance he could be recalled and used as a deputy.
More likely however is that Pep will look to sign Fabinho primarily for Centre-Mid but as someone who can also be more than an able stand-in RB. And of course we also have Fernandinho who can play there too.
Pep does seem to love rotation and players who are versatile and this allows him to keep more faces involved rather than have too many out on the fringes waiting for an injury or suspension.
What is desperately needed though, is the first choice RB. We’d all love Dani Alves but that one would strain the credulity of even the most ardent City fan and Alves is not getting any younger.
Kyle Walker though is gettable, he wants to come, he’s burned his bridges with Pochettino and is apparently already in the advanced stages of negotiation.
2. Benjamin Mendy. Position: Left Back.
Why? We only have one guy who can make a pass at left back now that Gael Clichy is gone. That would be Aleksandar Kolarov but he is no longer quick enough – a fact recognised by Guardiola who has long since removed him from the role.
Alex Sandro would be a dream but at just 26 years old he is the least likely to be sold of Allegri‘s famed but ageing Juventus backline.
Like Walker, Mendy is in advanced discussions with Txixi and Soriano. He’s an absolute powerhouse of a player, a gifted crosser of the ball and we could all see how much Monaco were weakened by his absence.
He’s Pep’s first choice and has the support of the majority of City fans behind him. We need this guy!
3. Ederson Moraes. Position: Goalkeeper.
We need a goalkeeper.
Some fans believed that Pep would stick with this season’s duo but Willy Caballero‘s contract was not renewed despite solid displays while Claudio Bravo will get another chance to show what he’s got after a traumatic first season.
I feel for Bravo.
We can see his quality. But he made a few howlers so early on that the media and even City fans were on his case from the outset and that plus a sick child cannot have helped. He couldn’t build any momentum. We can’t risk that happening again so a younger deputy with the same skill set is needed.
Ederson appears to have that in spades with wonderful long throws, accurate footwork and some stunning shot-stopping as witnessed v Dortmund in the Champions league.
Gratifyingly, Pep seems to agree and once again, the negotiations seem sufficiently advanced to give us all great hope for next season.
4. Alexis Sanchez. Position: Attacking Mid/Forward
See my article on Sanchez right here.
5. Virgil Van Dijk. Position: Centre Back.
Some might feel this position is less of a priority since Vinny is back to his best. But just as in the case of Gundogan, any prudent exercise in risk management would conclude that insurance is needed.
Otamendi‘s reputation has been greatly enhanced this season but he can still have his off-days. Adarabioyo is very raw. Stones is still a work in progress.
In short, we are simply one injury or one case of loss-of-form away from being quite thin at centre-back.
There has been a lot of talk about Bonucci. I regard that as being similar to talk of Sandro. It would be wonderful if true. Again though, I think more realism is needed.
We wouldn’t want any more of those transfer sagas that go on all season just to end in failure and let’s face it, haggling with Juventus for two of their best players would be a waste of energy, especially when we could get Van Dijk, who most agree is a class act, tough-as-nails and knows the league well.
Apparently City are confident that the Dutchman prefers us to Chelsea and Liverpool burned their bridges with Southampton with their crude attempt to tap him up. This is my second most-hoped for signing after we landed Bernardo Silva.
Whisper it quietly but Pep is building a team of thrillers for next season. Keep an eye out for part 2 of this post in which I will assess the chances of a few outlying possibilities that would really blow our minds!
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