Why Manchester City Should Pursue Kyle Walker Even If Dani Alves Arrives
Manchester City are close to adding another name to their ranks as a move for right-back Dani Alves nears completion. The Brazilian had emerged as a top target for the Sky Blues and as per reports from The Mirror, a move is imminent after Alves’ current club, Juventus, have agreed to release him from his current contract.
Alves is all set to reunite with former boss Pep Guardiola, with whom he enjoyed huge amount of success back in their days at Barcelona, with the report claiming that the 34-year old will ink a two-year deal with the Mancunian outfit.
The Citizens did not have the best of the seasons as Guardiola finished his debut campaign in England without any trophy. As a result, the manager has been overseeing a major revamp of the squad. Quite a few first team players from last season have already been released – including the two right-backs Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna, leaving the club thinly equipped in that position.
City have begun their summer of recruitment strongly, having signed Bernardo Silva and Ederson Moraes already. But reinforcements in the right-back area is of paramount importance. Dani Alves will prove to be a shrewd addition for the club, especially so considering that he will be coming in for free.
The 34-year old put in some spectacular displays for Juventus, defying his age, as he played a vital role in the Bianconeri’s Serie A triumph and their run to the finals of the UEFA Champions League. He finished the season with a more than an impressive tally of 6 goals and 7 assists from 33 games across all competitions.
However, they should be mindful of the fact that Alves will, in no terms, be a long-term solution for the club, considering his advancing age. As a result, it is important that City bring in another right-sided fullback in the transfer window. Before Alves, City have been heavily linked with a move for Tottenham Hotspur right-back Kyle Walker, although there was no real progress made over a transfer. However, City should not let go of their interest in the 27-year old, despite almost confirming the capture of Alves.
Walker was easily one of the best right-backs in the Premier League last season and has been so for the last couple of years now. His ability to stay alert and strong in defence while romping forward to great effect to support his teammates in attack has been key in the recent success that Spurs have been enjoying under Mauricio Pochettino.
This past season, Walker finished with no goals and 6 assists from 33 league games, playing an important hand in Tottenham finishing 2nd in the league. However, Pochettino decided to drop Walker for several key games towards the end of the season, fueling speculations of a summer exit.
The 27-year old English international has plenty of top level experience and has cemented his status as a top right-back at both club and country level. Moreover, his homegrown status is something that will definitely appeal to Guardiola, who is keen on building a team with a strong English core. Latest reports claimed that Tottenham will demand a fee in the range of £50million for Walker’s services (Daily Mail) and that shouldn’t be a problem for City, given their deep pockets.
While Alves will bring in a lot of value to the team with his experience and the winning mentality which is sure to rub off on the team, City need to be smart and realise that the Brazilian can perform at the top level for another year or two at the most. Hence, they should not end their pursuit of Walker despite closing in on the signature of Alves, as the Englishman could become a mainstay in the team for years to come.