Why Manchester City should sign Nicolas Tagliafico next season

According to De Telegraaf (h/t Daily Mail), Manchester City target Nicolas Tagliafico will sign a new contract with Ajax but there is the understanding that he will be free to leave at the end of the season. The left-back’s contract was supposed to run out in 2022 but the new deal extends it to 2023 and possibly ensures a better fee for Ajax. Chelsea have also shown interest in the player.

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The 28-year-old Argentine full-back started his youth career at Banfield, an Argentine club, around 2010. The club promoted him to the senior side in 2010 and after a few seasons, he started getting games on a regular basis. He has played more than 50 games for the side.

In the midst of that, he was sent on loan to Real Murcia in 2012, featuring 28 times. CA Independiente signed him in 2015 and it was here that Tagliafico started gaining prominence. He played three seasons for them and appeared in 105 matches.

Nicolas Tagliafico in action for Argentina. (Getty Images)
Nicolas Tagliafico in action for Argentina. (Getty Images)

Then he was signed by Ajax in 2017 and since then, he has been a mainstay of their backline. So far, he has made 110 appearances for the side, scored 12 and assisted 16 more (source – Transfermarkt). Tagliafico is also a regular for the national team with 27 caps to his name.

Tagliafico would be an upgrade on Mendy and Zinchenko

Manchester City have assembled one of the best squads in Europe in recent seasons. They have spent big money on the players and it has brought them quite some success. However, there does seem to a chink in their blue armor.

One look at their defence, especially on the left, would tell you that City have been exploited by teams. Benjamin Mendy spent a lot of time on the treatment table in the last few seasons. While he was fit and running, his style of play exposed major problems with City’s ultra-attacking nature.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Spanish midfielder Adama Traore (L) crosses the ball past Manchester City’s French defender Benjamin Mendy (R) during the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on September 21, 2020. (Photo by NICK POTTS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

As an attacking full-back, he spends most of the time above the halfway line in the opposition area. That is not an issue when City have possession but when a team nick the ball off them and counter, it leaves City’s high defensive line in a dangerous position and more often than not, they end up conceding in that manner.

The classic example for this is Manchester City’s recent 5-2 humiliation at the hands of Leicester City. The Foxes just ran through Guardiola’s defence and the Cityzens looked clueless.

Since then, Guardiola has used Joao Cancelo at left-back despite being right footed. The other option, Oleksandr Zinchenko looks unsuited to play as a full-back. For these reasons, Manchester City should look to bring in Nicolas Tagliafico.

Nicolas Tagliafico helped Ajax reach the semi-final of the Champions League in the 2017/18 campaign (Getty Images)
Nicolas Tagliafico helped Ajax reach the semi-final of the Champions League in the 2017/18 campaign (Getty Images)

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Tagliafico is an attack-minded left-back, as evident from his goals and assists tally. He likes to venture forward and add offensive impetus to the team. Given the requirements of modern football, City should look at the possibility of signing Tagliafico to add strength to the left-back department.

Capable of contributing at both ends of the pitch, City could do a whole lot worse than not signing someone like Tagliafico, who is one of the better left-backs in Europe.

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