Why Dan-Axel Zagadou would be a smart signing for Manchester City
Back in June 2017, the Daily Mail had claimed that Manchester City were interested in signing Dan-Axel Zagadou from Paris Saint-Germain. However, a deal didn’t materialise and the defender joined Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer after his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expired.
Dan-Axel Zagadou, 20, endured an injury-hit debut season at Borussia Dortmund that limited him to just 11 Bundesliga appearances. The Frenchman missed a lot of games with injuries last season as well, meaning he managed just 17 league appearances.
The return of Mats Hummels to the club from Bayern Munich in the summer has pushed the 20-year-old defender down the pecking order under Lucien Favre, with Zagadou managing just three appearances across all competitions so far this campaign.
The Bild (h/t The Metro) had claimed he wanted to leave Dortmund in the summer in search of regular game time but eventually, the 20-year-old stayed put at the club.
With Zagadou lacking regular opportunities at Signal Iduna Park, Manchester City should revive their interest in the defender during the January transfer window.
Manchester City’s defence has struggled this term, with Fernandinho having to step in following Aymeric Laporte’s injury, which has ruled him out until early next year. Laporte has established himself as one of the best defenders in the Premier League and his injury was a massive loss.
With Nicolas Otamendi being inconsistent, Guardiola has had to be heavily reliant on John Stones and Benjamin Mendy – two defenders whose City careers have been severely hampered by injuries.
And as Vincent Kompany left the club in the summer, the Cityzens are left with a mish-mash of a backline that is not hitting the high standards they set for themselves last season. To put things into perspective, City do need a new defender in January and Guardiola should go for Dan-Axel Zagadou.
Zagadou would get regular opportunities at City and develop his game under master tactician, Guardiola. The Frenchman is good in possession, strong in the air and solid in the tackle.
As per stats from last season, the 20-year-old enjoyed 88% pass accuracy, 1.5 interceptions, 0.8 tackles and 4.1 clearances, whilst winning 69% aerial duels and 63.8% ground duels per game. [Courtesy: SofaScore.com]
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All in all, Zagadou has the required physical attributes to be able to cope with the demands of the English game. Plus, his versatility to operate at left-back would also come handy for Guardiola, whose first-choice left-back Mendy has had injury troubles since arriving at the club.
If Zagadou can quickly hit the ground running in the Premier League, he’ll prove to be a smart long-term asset to the City defence.