Monday, September 26, 2022

Why Manchester City Has To Secure The Signature Of This Fullback Ahead Of Manchester United

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Sourav Bhakat
An ardent sports lover who loves to sleep, eat and watch Manchester City play. In that order.

Manchester City have seemingly got their mojo back in the last couple of weeks and after damaging losses against Leicester City and Chelsea, have racked up 9 points out of 9. While the fans would have been relieved to have seen Pep Guardiola tweak to a slightly more conventional approach after the blasphemy against Leicester City, this is just the start. City, along with the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs have let Chelsea gain more than a yard and the Blues are ahead by 7 points in December.

The manner in which Chelsea are playing their football, it is extremely difficult to see from where their next source of point loss will be coming.

Manchester City have oscillated between enthralling and frustrating at times this season and for Pep to impart his complete philosophy there has to be a number of alterations to the squad.

When the Catalan took over at the Etihad, it was understood that there would be a complete defensive face-lift. While the issues regarding their centre-back have been extremely well documented with the precision of a needle by pundits and sympathisers, their situation regarding the fullbacks somehow never caught the eye as distinctly.

But with all four of their fullbacks on the wrong side of 30 and with Pep usually employing a high press tactic which requires them to bomb forward and cover defensively throughout the match, it was understood more than one change might be in store.

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But surprisingly the club refrained from adding to their options with Kolarov, Sagna, Zabaleta and Clichy deemed sufficient. But with Kolarov having being converted into a centre-back, it leaves only Gael Clichy as the remaining left-back in the club. His failure to dribble past opposition has been clearly evident this season. Although he is disciplined and holds his own in front of the attackers, Pep surely needs a bit more from him.

Hence, with this situation prevailing at the club and the January window approaching, it is not a surprise to see the Sky Blues being linked with Juventus left-back Alex Sandro. However, it is reported that Manchester United are also interested in the left back.

Manchester City apparently tried to sign him from FC Porto in 2015 but with Juventus wielding their persuasive powers, the English outfit lost out. Sandro is very much an archetypal Brazilian full-back, all pace and power and often his first instinct is to attack rather than defend. But he has balanced his game lately and has honed his defensive qualities. Full of pace and power, he loves to get down the flank, but he does not shy away from a challenge and his tackling is more than solid.

City can well do with such a presence on the flanks as it opens up another avenue with the likes of Silva, De Bruyne and Nolito moving in and increasing numbers in the penalty box. The healthy South American, especially Brazilian contingent at the Etihad will help in an easier settling in period. The player has a release clause of £26.5m which City will be more than happy to cough up.

But with reports that crosstown rivals, Manchester United are also eyeing him, it will be interesting to see which club secures his signature.

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