Sign Him Up Guardiola – Why Manchester City Must Make A Move For This Former Chelsea Star
As per reports from the Metro, runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City are set to make a move for Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand, in the January transfer window.
Despite sitting comfortably at the top of the pile in the English top division, a whopping 15 points above their closest challengers Manchester United, Pep Guardiola is keen on strengthening his side in the winter window and is eyeing moves for a centre-back and left-back reportedly.
And the Catalan boss has identified Saints’ star Bertrand as the right man to bolster City’s ranks midway through the season. The 28-year old had been heavily linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium in the summer transfer window as well, but a move did not materialize and City eventually spent a whopping £53 million to sign Benjamin Mendy from AS Monaco.
However, with the Frenchman sidelined since the month of October due to a knee ligament injury, Guardiola has had to rely on the likes of Fabian Delph and Danilo to fill in at left-back. While both the players have done a sterling job in what is an unnatural position for them, the manager is intent on bringing in a specialist in January and sees Bertrand as the right fit.
Bertrand joined Southampton back in February 2015 from reigning Premier League champions Chelsea, in search of regular first-team football and has grown into one of their most consistent performers over the years. Arguably one of the most underrated left-backs in the Premier League, the former Chelsea man has become a key member of the Saints’ setup as well as the England national team.
The 28-year old finished the 2016/17 campaign with 3 goals and 5 assists in 34 games across all competitions, to help Southampton to an eighth-place finish and has registered three assists so far this season, in 18 league appearances for Mauricio Pellegrino’s struggling side.
Guardiola had made no secret of the fact that he would like to build his team around a core of English players and Bertrand’s homegrown status is something that is sure to appeal to the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona manager.
With his lung-bursting energy and his ball playing abilities, Bertrand will be the ideal fit for Manchester City’s requirements. The 28-year old English international is always on the prowl to get forward and possesses a mean left foot with which he can bombard crosses into the box and is not shy of having a go at the goal from distance either. He has the pace to track back effectively if he gets caught in advanced positions and has demonstrated strong defensive nous as well.
Also, the fact that he is a UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League winner from his time with Chelsea highlights that he has a relative amount of big-game experience and a general know-how of European football as well. A proven performer in the Premier League, with his ability to churn out strong performances week in week out, Bertrand will be a great acquisition for the Sky Blues if they sign him in January and will turn them into a more fearsome side for the opposition.