Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Why Manchester City Has To Get This £25m Deal Done For La Liga Midfielder

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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 are in tatters at the moment. The unrealistic expectations from Pep Guardiola was a bane from the very beginning and the Catalan’s failure to warm up to the British media, through no apparent fault of his, resulted in a continuous stream of negative reporting with every slip-up the former Barcelona manager had.

It is a travesty how people, who had derided the same group of players last season and had labelled them as also-rans, were suddenly expecting more or less the same batch of players to have an unbeaten season after winning just 6 games at the start of the season. And almost as per design, City fell away. Notching up draws on a regular basis in games which they expected to win with minimum fuss. And losing to fellow title contenders and rivals has become a practice now.

The defence has come under a lot of flak and rightly so. Starting from the goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, who has been a disaster, the centre-backs and the fullbacks, have all disappointed. John Stones has seemingly decided to carry with him the form or the lack of it, which plagued him in his last season at Everton and mistakes have become a norm. Kolarov continues to be the unsolved enigma and is now caught in no man’s land while Otamendi’s weird affinity for the grass just outside the penalty area is as worrying.

But it is not just the defence which has an issue. The midfield does not look like a Pep Guardiola midfield by any means. Fernandinho has impressed but his latest antics have befuddled many. Yaya still has class but the legs are too heavy after such a long time while Fernando and Delph are backups at best. Gundogan was brought to add a touch of class but his injury made sure that wasn’t going to happen.


And according to reports, Manchester City are in the market with the necessary artillery to trigger Sevilla midfielder- Steven N’Zonzi’s release clause of £25m.

He began his career at Ligue 2 side Amiens in 2007, following development in six different academies including Paris Saint-Germain. Rovers, who were in the Premier League at the time, scouted N’Zonzi and signed him for £500,000 in 2009, giving him a four-year contract. N’Zonzi shone for the club and was named their Player of the Year in the 2009-10 season. But when Blackburn were relegated two years later, the midfielder wanted out and joined Stoke in a £3m deal.

He has improved in leaps and bounds at Sevilla and is an integral part of their success this season and the last. He is a midfield engine and covers every blade of grass he plays on. He has been likened to the likes of Vieira and while that might be a bit far-fetched, his physique and his technical ability do set him apart.

He will know the Premier League like the back of his hand and might just be the enforcer City need in central midfield to add a bit of gusto to their dwindling season.

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