Manchester City have had a topsy-turvy ride this season after the arrival of Pep Guardiola. The Catalan has, expectedly, gone about trying to imprint his philosophy on the squad and the club. And going by the initial months, he has been given the green light to make all the necessary changes. He decided to send Joe Hart on loan, a club legend in his own rights. There was a serious chance that it might start off the relationship between the fans and the new boss on a discordant note but the level of faith and hope is evident as they have decided to give the man time to get the results.
Going into the second half of the season still in 3 competitions, there is a clear need to strengthen if they are to sustain their fading title challenge. Chelsea will slip up and City needs to be in and around to be able to take advantage of that.
With the transfer window heating up gradually, let us take a moment to assess the transfer likeliness of the following rumours circulating the Etihad.
VIRGIL VAN DIJK – 6/10
The Southampton defender has suddenly become the talk of the town after his strong defensive display for his club this season. The likes of City, United, Everton and Chelsea have all being linked with him. He is strong in the air and is good positionally.
His aerial prowess holds him in good stead and he is a confident bloke. City needs a centre-back and Van Dijk fits the bill. But Southampton are unlikely to sell now, especially in January. And his quoted price of £60m seems to be absurd.
HOLGER BADSTUBER- 8/10
The German centre-back is in need of minutes under his belt and is available on a short-term basis. Manchester City need defenders and preferably on a short-term loan till the summer. And add in some quality and the fact that Pep Guardiola has worked with the player for 3 years at Bayern Munich. It almost seems to be a gilt-edged transfer.
But. Yes, there is a ‘but’ and it is regarding the injury record of the versatile defender. Manchester City already have the likes of Kompany, Delph and Gundogan. Two of them are long-term absentees while the Delph is mostly in the treatment room. City might be sceptical of adding another injury-prone player to their ranks.
STEVEN N’ZONZI- 5/10
The Sevilla midfielder has suddenly leapt onto the radar of several European clubs after impressing for Sevilla this season. After finding no takers at the end of last season, his strong and combative displays in midfield makes him an enticing player for a club like City.
A perfect place for midfielders, there is a chance that under Pep Guardiola’s tutelage he might yet become an even more explosive player. But the manager was quick to shoot down the rumours and it seems that he is focusing on the defence at this moment.