Thanks to the excellent investigative work of Sam Lee (@Sammy_Goal) and others, Manchester City fans not only knew our transfer targets early in the summer window but also the order in which we wanted to acquire them.
- Goalkeeper √
- Four full backs. √√√
- Alex Sanchez. ×
- Central Defender. ×
- At that point, City would have also considered a 8th and final incomer, widely considered to be another attacking midfielder. √
However following the acquisition of the keeper, 3 of the desperately needed full backs, the bonus prize of Bernardo Silva and notwithstanding the surprising defensive form of Fabian Delph and John Stones, there remains a need for left-sided and central defensive cover and a defensive midfielder. And we shouldn’t turn our noses up at Alexis Sanchez either!
Think about it.
The following is very possible:
Scenario 1: Left Back
Delph, sadly, succumbs once again to injury in keeping with most of his history with us so far. Since Mendy is out for most of the season, we are forced to go with the extremely right footed Danilo or the bright raw green Zinchenko.
Scenario 2: Central Midfield
After a bright start, Gundogan gets injured once again. Yaya (34) is deep into his leaden footed decline. Fernandinho, without adequate cover, struggles for the energy that exists in the other top teams.
Scenario 3: Central Defence
One of Otamendi or Stones gets crocked. Who have we got? That’s right. Mangala and/or Adarabioyo. Yikes!
All 3 scenarios are very possible.
Any Risk Management Assessor worth his salt would tell you that despite the great start, City remain just a few unfortunate ricks away from being out of the title race by February or March against rivals who have strong and energetic defensive spines with cover. (see Tottenham Hotspur & Chelsea).
Alan Hansen said ‘you win nothing with kids’ but what he really should have said, is ‘you win nothing without a degree of spiteful muscularity’ (Bearing in mind the squads of ALL past Premier league winning teams…)
Manchester City need to recalibrate their priorities after the summer transfer successes.
Options such as Faouzi Ghoulam, Ryan Bertrand, Milinkovic-Savic, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Mouctar Diakhaby, Jose Giminez, Virgil Van Dijk and Fabinho are still potentially up for grabs.
Here’s hoping it does not take another trophy-less season for Pep to cover all bases and expect the unexpected.
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