Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Manchester City Outs & Ins over the summer

It’s that time folks; Pep’s arrival is immanent and here’s my analysis of who might be packing their bags and who might be ‘house hunting’ in the Manchester and, more likely, Cheshire area.



Definitely out / surely



Willy Caballero (GK) – An absolute hero at Wembley in the League Cup final, of course, but Pep has his plans for this area of the team and Willy just aint gonna be in ‘em.

Richard Wright (GK) – Might stay on in a purely coaching role but surely de-registered as a player. Talk is that he's already announced his retirement from playing at least.

Aleksandar Kolarov (LB) – Goodbye. Please…goodbye.

Martin Demichelis (CB / CM) – In many ways a ‘snip’ at £3M and proved very useful indeed on many occasions. In other ways, however, an increasing liability. Goes with a “thank you” though.

Luke Bratton (CM) – I just can’t see Pep Guardiola utilising / standing for this type of marketing / club-partnership-type signing whatsoever. Goodbye whoever you were…

Anthony Caceres (CM)For Anthony Caceres, read “Luke Bratton”…

Wilfried Bony (S) – Some players just don’t work in some systems; he didn’t fit into Manuel’s and I sure can’t see him fitting into Pep’s. Shame really – I defended him for a long time and saw him potentially working well for us at one stage. He’ll be back on the goal trail in no time for his new club I’m sure…

(There will also be, of course, some of the EDS / youth / first-team-fringe players that I’ve not mentioned who may not have their contracts renewed / get released, allowing them to talk to other clubs)

Could be on their way out but, equally, may survive…and some-even become improved / have their City careers prolonged under Pep and his incoming coaching team:

 


Eliaquim Mangala (CB) – Mr E. Nigma. Sometimes looks graceful, pacey and powerful at the back; other times a complete, panicking calamity! As I’ve alluded to, with the right coaching he could be raised to be a diamond of a defender…or he could well be catapulted very, very quickly out of the Etihad.

Pablo Zabaleta (RB) – The spirit’s there but the legs are slowly waning a bit now. I hope this City hero has another season in him; if anyone can squeeze that from him then it’s Pep.

Fernandinho (CM) – If, as I suspect, Pep has the ability to raise players’ performance levels 20 to 40% then, despite just turning 31, Fernandinho could be a vital cog in Pep’s midfield department even if one for one, transitional season.

Fernando (CM) – Had a really god season but with the slightly younger and English Fabian Delph possibly more likely to become Pep’s defensive workhorse in the team; this could kill-off any chances ‘The Octopus’ may have had of staying. Other than that…for Fernando read “Fernandinho”.

Samir Nasri (LW / CM) – With a strange, Yaya-like, tetchy mentality at times; it’s not so surprising why many Blues want to see the back of this fella. However, he CAN be so, so very good when his ‘head’s right’. Under our new manager, Samir could be one of our top stars once again.

Jesus Navas (RW) – Bags and bags of pace, stamina and a willingness to ‘track back’ and work for the team. Flip side? One of ‘the’ worse crossers of the ball and worse shooting ability in an attacking player I’ve ever seen. If Pep can fix the last 2 issues (or the passing / crossing at least) then the flying Spaniard could be well be in Guardiola’s plans for next season at least.

Yaya Toure (CM) – With rumours that he didn’t like working under Pep at Barcelona and with his large, aging frame often exposing him (and us); it’s highly likely that Yaya has no future at Manchester City anyway (and the club might need to shift that wage of his before they can spend more on wages for incoming ‘top stars’). And when you add into that the fact that we could use the Ivorian in any makeweight for Paul Pogba and / or Alex Sandro then the writing really does appear to be on the wall for the big man. Could stay…and could very well be improved under Pep; staying for one final season to cap-off a very good City career. Doubt it though but, as we wave goodbye, let’s not forget that he’s been a legend for us for the most part.

More than likely to stay…but you never know!

 


Gael Clichy (LB) – Nudging closer to the end of his career but when he ‘gets games under his belt’ he really does take advantage of a ‘good run in the team’ at times; proving to be a more-than-decent defender. With the likely addition of another left-back; I still think there’s a place for the Frenchman [to compete for that slot] for one more season at least.

Vincent Kompany (CB) – It’s all down to his injuries and how he fares over the coming months. Might not even be given that chance; he could well be shown the exit door straight away if Pep’s been observing Vinny’s frustrating injury lay-offs. That would be harsh on our Skipper. Give up playing for Belgium now Vinny; give your City career a fighting chance mate…

Bacary Sagna (RB) – Despite being a year older than Pablo, Bacary looks stronger than the Argentine and still has some pace too. Has been the absolute bargain buy of the last 2 seasons – a freebie from Arsenal and has done a very good job indeed in Pablo’s absence…taking over his position for the most part now too! Should be in Pep’s plans, even if only for one season.

Surely a ‘dead cert’ to stay:

 


Joe Hart (GK) – My player of the season and England’s number 1. Nuff said…

Nicholas Otamendi (CB) – Classy / dependable at times, scarily-reckless at others! Having only just sighed this season-gone, Pep might be urged to give him more time. Like Mangala, he could well be ‘fine-tuned’ by our new Spanish Manager…

Kevin De Bruyne (LW / CM) – Clearly has the class and ability if not, sometimes, a little shy-like and invisible; especially away from home for some strange reason. However, he will be key and will shine, I’m sure, in a ‘Pep system’.

Fabian Delph (CM) – At the risk of sounding insulting about his ability; having just signed, being just 26-½ years of age and English, these factors may have saved Fabian the chop when changing managers. To rectify that less-than-complimentary remark; Fabian works so hard for the team and does equally well in-defending as well as supporting the attack from all areas of the pitch and, so, in many ways the man from Yorkshire could be ‘the perfect Pep player’. Future captain too?

David Silva (LW / RW / CM) – It never fails to shock me whenever I read Blues comments on-line saying that it’s time for this 30 and-one-half-year-old to leave Manchester City Football Club. How fickle are some footy fans?! He’s had one quiet’ish season where not only has he been attempting to hold together a team that has looked, for large parts of the season, to be coming apart at the seams; but he has also been ‘playing with the pain’ of an ankle ‘niggle’ for most if not all of the season-gone. Has 3-years left on his contract – I will be shocked to the core if he not-only doesn’t become one of Pep’s ‘vital men’ but also if he doesn’t see-out that contract to June 2019. Utter Blue legend with years of magic still to give Manchester City (another one who might benefit from retiring from international football soon though).

Raheem Sterling (LW / F) – One of the players I fully expect our new manager to ‘fire up’; teaching him how to apply / channel the talent he clearly has…but so very rarely implements to everyone’s frustration.

Sergio Aguero (S) – Can he get better? Well…perhaps 10 or 15%. Pep will find that ‘little bit extra’ and then…WOW!

Kelechi Iheanacho (F / S) – This is your time lad – this guy is gonna fly under Guardiola!

Vacancies to fill

 


Between the sticks:


Not just one but, quite possibly, two goalkeepers if we don’t have a promising EDS stopper. A quality, experienced keeper to compete with Joe and, quite possibly / depending, a scouted younger keeper; one ‘for the future’ but one who could also ‘step up’ to the bench, at least, should we lose one of our main stoppers at some stage.

Names? I just don't know...

In defence:


Left…

Most definitely a left back needed (needed for 3 or 4 seasons at least I would add)! Most likely candidate is a heavily contracted / expensive - and afore mentioned - Brazilian from Juventus called Alex Sandro; either him or a player I’ve been suggesting [for a move to City] for the last 4-to-6 transfer windows, in PSV’s Jetro Willems. In sharp contrast to the Juventus man, Jetro is entering the final year of his contract with the Dutch side and shouldn’t ‘hit the pocket’ nearly as hard as the Italian-based Brazilian.

Aaron Cresswell is another possibility and one, who, we’ve been linked with before. The player might be tempted to work under Pep…but at 26, with 4 years remaining on his contract - and with him “being English” - this fella could cost a packet! Can’t imagine West Ham United wanting to sell either but he’s ‘in there’ as a ‘linked player’…

Another domestic based left-back being increasingly talked about is Hull City and Scotland's Andrew Robertson. At just turned 22, Andrew has risen fast having started life at Queens Park; moving to Dundee United before moving again to the East Yorkshire side. In that time he has already accumulated 9-full international caps for his country.

Before moving on I will also chuck-in that we do also have, on our books, the promising Angelino.

Right…

Highly likely, regardless of whether we keep Pablo Zabaleta and / or Bacary Sagan, is another right-back – a quality one, of course, but a much-younger player who could step-in now but who could, equally, ‘learn his trade’ from the Argentine and / or Frenchman.

One linked with us in April 2016 is Real Madrid’s Daniel Carvajal. But with a whopping 4 years still to go on his current contract, just how much will that cost us for a 24-year old Spanish international?

Centre…

One central defender at least…possibly two depending on several factors:

1.    Is Eliaquim on his way out or will he be ‘Pepped up’?

2.    How is Vincent Kompany’s various and increasing injuries going to ‘pan out’? Will he ‘do the sensible thing’ and, at least, drop international football? Regardless, will Pep simply not want to risk having such a key area in such doubt so much of the time?

3.    Will recent arrival Nicholas Otamendi be a ‘Pep-type player’…or could we see a shock(?) early exit for the Argentine?

4.    Will the returning [from loan at Galatasaray] Jason Denayer (not previous mentioned above) be in Pep’s plans; will he be the ‘new Vinny’ we’re all hoping and who has-had his praises sung most highly by his manager when on loan at Celtic; by the Belgium Head Coach and by Vinny himself! Similarly…

5.    …will Pep’s side-remit from the City board - to develop and introduce to the first team EDS / youth players - mean that we’ll see more of Tosin Adarabioyo and / or Cameron Humphries in central defensive duties more often in the main squad?

It’s likely to be a combo of some of those factors and so, as I say, I think we’ll definitely see one, highly-rated and expensive signing in this area.

Aymeric Laporte
Who? Well before his ankle break in late March for the French under-21s, all talk was of Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao. Of course he could well recover from that and be okay for most of next season; equally this could trigger-off other ‘niggles’ and be the start of an injury plagued / prone career (I hope not, of course, for the 22-year old).

Attentions could be turned to, if they weren’t already, John Stones of Everton. Still not fully proven but with priceless Premier League experience. Being English we can expect to pay that particularly high premium but, like Aymeric, John is a ball-playing central defender, which Pep likes in his defenders. Both young, both good possibilities.

Midfield / wings – the transfer hotspot area!


Left…

With Kevin & Raheem surely staying and Samir possibly surviving also; I can’t honestly see the need for a left-sided winger / attacker. If Pep deems this a requirement, however, then previously-linked Koke is good candidate-possibility.

How about a punt on a 33-year old who Pep knows very well? Approaching the last year of his contract we could snap-up Franck Ribery for £8M to £10M and put him on a 2-year deal to help our current players adjust to the ‘Pep way’. Not sure Bayern Munich would be interested in doing any deals with us though…

Right…

Leroy Sane
Regardless of whether Jesus survives or not, we surely need a new / additional right-winger. Likely to come in a fill that role is previously-linked Leroy Sane.

However - and similar to the left-sided suggestion - how about nipping in for a 32-year old from Bayern also? Arjen Robben is also about the enter the final year of his contract too and for the same reasons as Franck; he could be worth spending £10M on and offering a 2-year deal.

Centre…

Paul Pogba
If he goes, we’d need a Yaya-like replacement and, of course, all the talk is that Paul Pogba is that man. ‘The link’ to the defence and attack in many ways; play often ‘goes through’ - or heavily involves – the ex-Manyoo man.

Toni Kroos
Ilkay Gundogan & Toni Kroos have also both been linked and offer that stable / good passing quality sometimes lacking in our side and also so-very-crucial to the way Pep likes to set up. Don’t be at all surprised to see two of these three at City next season, although with Ilkay picking up a Euro ending dislocated knee injury in the last few weeks that could change things with Pep’s plans. These constantly-linked and highly talented players are why some of the ‘current crop’ in midfield listed above should be a little nervous about being shown the exit door.

Ilkay Gundogun
Also linked with us in April 2016 – and not for the first time – is Bologna’s young defensive / central midfielder, Amadou Diawara. With a few clubs also eyeing the 19-year old (in July), Guine national; apparently the asking price is around £14M.

Forwards / strikers


Difficult to say how many Pep might want to bring into this area. Manuel Pellegrini’s reluctance to do so in either the summer of 2015 and / or winter of 2016 had many scratching their heads…and his refusal to even accept that this was an ongoing area for concern was equally baffling to the majority…me included.

Sergio is a certainty to stay and I think will get even better. Likewise, Kelechi. You never know, we might even see David Faupala ‘step up / in’ and even Enes Unal.

And, I have to emphasise, Pep often likes to play so fluid and with a packed midfield that it sometimes feels like his teams aren’t even PLAYING with any strikers, with some of 'em spreading themselves so very deep & wide.

But with Wilfried highly likely to be on his way out and leaving us with just Aguero & Iheanacho as two recognisable strikers; I think it’s highly likely that we’ll see one top, TOP striker come in.

With a few from the likes of Koke / Ribery / Pogba / Gundogan / Kroos / Sane / Robben (and / or others) likely to be joining us in the summer of 2016; then what Pellegrini was criticised for in many quarters might actually happen again under Pepe. However, 3 main squad strikers in a fluid, attacking midfield system could well be plenty…and we might-then see the occasional introduction of younger forwards at the club / from the EDS being supported by a vast array of attacking talent!

However, I think we’re likely to see at least one new striker join us in the summer and, so, names to add to Sergio & Kelechi’s department?

Highly coveted pair Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy are highly unlikely to be leaving their respective clubs this season coming, having both achieved Champions League qualification after such good campaigns.

Robert Lewandowski

Therefore, I’m a little low with regards to "likely" striker candidates and can only think about the possibility of Robert Lewandowski joining us. He certainly has all the credentials; has, of course, just played under Pep at Bayern and, at 28 in August, is just about to start his ‘prime age’ term. Has 3 years left on his contract and so the German outfit could demand a fee of around the £80M mark…and might not want to sell to their just-departed manager.

7 comments:

  1. Great post! Totally explained... an interesting analysis made !
    keep going !

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  2. Thank you very much. Glad you enjoyed - thanks for reading and commenting iio StefanoS.

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you for reading, Akeem!

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  4. Well balanced and fair across the board in each example - I couldn't have shown that kind of restraint in regard to Kolarov!

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    1. Thank you very much Tony, glad you liked it and thanks for reading. I know exactly what you mean about Kolarov; it was difficult... 8- )

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