According to Marca (h/t Daily Mail), Manchester City are preparing a £25million bid for River Plate’s Nicolas de La Cruz.
The report also confirms that City are monitoring his performance, as the Uruguayan has become a star in Argentina. De La Cruz was part of the squad that lost the Copa Libertadores final to Flamengo recently.
Despite their loss, De La Cruz has put in impressive performances for River Plate. Though he struggled for form in his first season after moving from Liverpool Montevideo to the Argentine club, the youngster has a consistent member of Marcello Gallardo’s side this season.
In 9 league games this term, De La Cruz has scored and assisted 4 times each for his team. The midfielder has been a strong force to reckon with from the start of this season.
Meanwhile, Manchester City have returned to winning ways in the Premier League after their disappointing 3-1 loss to Liverpool. They came from a goal behind to beat Chelsea 2-1 last weekend and are now placed 3rd in the standings.
This season, the Cityzens have not been as prolific as they were in their previous title-winning campaigns. Long-term injuries to their defensive unit have put them in trouble and that was exposed when they lost to minnows Norwich City earlier in the league.
In order to make amends with their inconsistency at the back, Pep Guardiola has turned to defensive midfielder Fernandinho to take charge at the backline along with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.
Despite having shortcomings in defence, it is a surprise that Guardiola has lined up to bring an attacking midfielder in January in the form of Nicolas de La Cruz.
This decision would pay off well because Guardiola has just two attacking midfielders at his disposal in David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne. The Spaniard is set to leave at the end of the season after his contract expires in June, and De Bruyne has been putting in the hard work day in and out.
Therefore, De La Cruz would be seen as a proper backup for the two veterans. The 22-year-old has garnered attention after a string of solid performances for the Argentine outfit and would bring with him some good quality to the Etihad stadium.
According to Whoscored, De La Cruz has registered 2.7 shots, 2.1 key passes and 1.6 dribbles per game in the Superliga this season. He has also enjoyed passing at an average 74.6% accuracy for River Plate.
Getting to train alongside the likes of David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and other start players in City’s ranks would be a great chance for De La Cruz to learn from the best. And under the guidance of one of Europe’s best coaches, De La Cruz would surely go on to become a better player.
Moving to Manchester City would be a huge stride taken by De La Cruz in his development process and he can burst into the Premier League at the right time, given his age.
The Uruguayan can also be seen as a future prospect to guide City to many more trophies, making a name for himself in the process. He can be expected to carry on from where David Silva is set to leave. Therefore, he must be signed at the earliest.
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