Why Guardiola and Man City would be wrong to opt-out of the January window
According to the Mirror, Pep Guardiola would opt out of the transfer window in January despite an 11-point title deficit.
Manchester City are languishing behind Liverpool in the title race and it could prove to be a blunder if Guardiola insists on not signing any player in January.
With an injury-hit squad, City don’t look to be lethal as they were in their previous campaigns. The current unit has already lost 3 games this season with more than half a season to be played. And at this point, they are struggling to be dominant.
They have lost to teams like Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are not considered to be a heavyweight in the Premier League. This shows City have failed to muster upon the quality they showed previously.
When February begins, City are set to have 6 fixtures against Premier League heavyweights, which could decide their fate in the title chase.
Last season, with Aymeric Laporte, Vincent Kompany and John Stones in the defensive unit, City were strong and conceded only 23 goals in the entire season. But the failure to sign a centre-back as a replacement for Kompany has hurt them a lot this term.
Laporte’s long-term injury and Stones’ inconsistency have made them vulnerable at the back without any support for goalkeeper Ederson. City’s defence were brutally exposed against Liverpool last month, as they were left with no answer for the Reds’ counter-attacks.
The Etihad outfit surely needs a proper centre-back so that Fernandinho can be deployed in his favoured position.
Another area of concern for Guardiola should be the left-wing position, where Raheem Sterling has no backup option left. Leroy Sane’s injury has left them light and he is expected to return only in February.
Sterling has played all possible games for the Etihad outfit and England so far, and with a busy schedule coming up during the festive period, Guardiola must ponder the options he is left with. And therefore, opting out of the January window could leave Manchester City in trouble.
David Silva is also set to leave at the end of the season when his contract expires, so it would not be appropriate if a replacement for the Spaniard is not done in January.
If City are to tighten the gap with Liverpool as early as possible, they need to reinforce their squad depth. This would allow Guardiola to stay in the title race even when the starting XI gets exhausted during the busy schedule.
Therefore, the Cityzens would be wise to enter the transfer market in January and make some important signings to add strength and quality to the squad.