Two positions Manchester City must strengthen in January
The Premier League title race at the end of the 2018-19 season was one for the ages. The title could have gone either way with both teams entering the final matchday with a chance of winning the crown.
Pep Guardiola’s men pipped Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool by a solitary point. Fast forward 6 months, the same two teams are fighting it out for the prized title but Liverpool are in the ascendency, as they have a cushion of 11 points over City.
While Liverpool are the only unbeaten team in the league, Manchester City have already lost 3 games. City have themselves to blame for the dropped points against Wolves and Norwich. But defending the title for the second straight season was always going to be an uphill task and their quiet transfer window did not help either.
Club captain Vincent Kompany departed the club in the summer, as he chose to become the player-manager for Anderlecht and City failed to sign a replacement for the Belgian. Aymeric Laporte damaged the cartilage and lateral meniscus in his right knee during the 4-0 win at home against Brighton and it made matters worse for Guardiola.
Kyle Walker and Fernandinho have been employed as makeshift centre-backs and have done well but they sorely miss a central defender. City were linked with Harry Maguire but the defender decided to join Manchester United (h/t The Sun).
Maguire, a ball-playing centre-back, would have been the ideal fit for Guardiola and missing out on the former Foxes ace is already proving to be a mistake.
As per The Mirror, Manchester City are considering a move for Leicester defender Çağlar Söyüncü. He has been a rock for Leicester in central defence and has been one of the main reasons behind the club’s success this season.
Their stunning form has seen them occupy the second spot in the table, 3 points ahead of City. Söyüncü, 23, is good with the ball at his feet and given how wayward their defending has been this season, his signing would be ideal.
Another area of concern for Pep Guardiola has been the left-back position. In Benjamin Mendy, Manchester City have one of the best left-backs in world football. While occasionally prone to a mistake, Mendy gives City a new dynamic when he plays with his tireless running down the flanks and ability to swing in pinpoint crosses that often lead to goals.
However, injuries and off-field issues have made his life difficult at the club. With Oleksandr Zinchenko undergoing knee surgery, the left-back spot is still up for grabs.
Given how instrumental Andy Robertson has been in Liverpool’s success, Pep Guardiola must look for a new left-back in January to help his side challenge the Reds for the title.
According to The Sun, Leicester full-back Ben Chilwell is being monitored by City. Chilwell has been a vital cog in Brendan Rodgers’ team and has contributed 1 goal and 3 assists going forward.
Manchester City have been hampered by injuries to defenders. And when the January transfer window opens, Pep Guardiola’s top priority should be a centre-back. He should also look to buy an out-and-out attacking left-back, who can contribute to the team going forward.