Manchester City’s pursuit of the Premier title has taken a hit recently. That is down to their poor form, having fallen 7 points off top spot. Their recent defeat to Leicester, a 4-2 reverse, is sure to send panic waves through the minds of Manchester City supporters. Pep Guardiola’s arrival was treated with a lot of fanfare and expectations, as he has established himself as one of the world’s best managers in his time with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Things haven’t quite gone according to plan for Pep and his men, as they have looked defensively fragile this season. There isn’t enough emphasis on defence and the team’s DNA seems to constitute only the attacking side. Even when Manchester City won the title twice, they weren’t exactly based on defensive solidarity and instead focused more on the attacking side and somehow, that paid dividends at the time. Whether they can follow a similar route again is highly debatable.
Following these developments and Manchester City’s poor form, Pep Guardiola will undoubtedly be looking at a few players to strengthen his ranks in January, here are a few players that he must target in order to get Manchester City to stay in the race for the title –
Pep’s problems clearly lie in defence, as he continues to deal with a squad that is ageing by the day. None of his fullback options are below the age of 32 and this is something that will irk him. Under such circumstances, the signing of Danny Rose could be the perfect solution to his defensive issues. Due to the absence of Kompany, Kolarov has been moved into central defence. Thus leaving the unimpressive Gael Clichy with the responsibility to play at left back, something the Frenchman hasn’t done to good effect.
Danny Rose, at just 26, would be an excellent option for Manchester City. He is known for his willingness to get forward with aplomb. Rose is also a first choice left back for the England national team and has experience of playing alongside John Stones already, something that should help him and the recently under-fire defender alike. At Tottenham, it’s Walker and Rose that clearly dominate as they get themselves in forward positions throughout the game and try their best to influence the game. Guardiola’s game will suit Rose as he will have considerable opportunities to get forward and contribute to the team’s attack.
The French centre-back, who is also eligible to play for Spain, has been impressing in La Liga for Athletic Bilbao, where has been a starter for around 4 years. Still only 22, he is young and would fit into Pep Guardiola’s philosophy perfectly and could partner John Stones in the years to come. He is also comfortable with the ball at his feet and is excellent in air as well. These are qualities that could help him in England if he is to make the move.
Manchester City will have to act quickly, though, as there are several other clubs are interested in Laporte’s services. But the allure of playing under Guardiola could be too hard to resist for the youngster and thus, Manchester City should make a move for him at the soonest.
Manchester City have also struggled to express themselves from the wing positions off late. Raheem Sterling started the season off in fine fashion, but his effect on the team has waned as well. De Bruyne continues to be a threat, but it is clear that Jesus Navas’ best day are behind him and Olympique Lyon’s Nabil Fekir could be an excellent addition to the Manchester City side in that case.
He is left-footed, can create chances and can play anywhere along the front line, including up top. Such versatility should appeal to Manchester City and Pep. He was touted to move to a bigger club in last year, but a serious injury prevented any such move. He is now back from injury and is firing on all cylinders and City should look to snap him up.