Sunday, January 29, 2023

Manchester City Close In On This Brazilian Fullback: Pep’s Ideal Player?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

According to reports, Manchester City are all set to land Juventus star Dani Alves on a two-year deal after the Brazilian full-back sorts out his departure from the Italian side. Although Juventus are understandably very reluctant to let one of their star players leave after signing him just last summer, Alves’ intentions of playing under Guardiola would mean they have little options.

The right wing-back has been one of the special candidates for coach Pep Guardiola during his stay in Barcelona and has the tiki-taka DNA ingrained in him. And without a doubt, his arrival at Etihad would be their best shopping by far, given the Brazilian’s proven abilities at the top level. He was a significant figure for the Old Lady in their Champions League campaign, where they reached the final before losing to Real Madrid.

Although at 34, he is not the kind of buy Guardiola prefers but given the immense pressure on him for instant success the Spaniard isn’t left with much of a choice. City have already released most of the players on the wrong side of 30 from the squad like Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta, Jesus Navas and Willy Caballero; and Alves would most likely be an exceptional buy for them.

The right defensive flank has been a huge concern for Guardiola throughout the season and his experimenting four players in that area reflects it aptly. Starting the season the likes of Zabaleta and Sagna, Guardiola wasted no time in bringing in central midfielder Fernandinho to execute his plan well.

In Fernandinho’s absence, he was also seen playing winger Jesus Navas in that role. What Guardiola wants most is technically a superior player, who could hold the ball well and pass it impeccably from tight situations. And Alves has done it quite well throughout his career.

Even at 34, Alves has the mileage to run all 90 minutes, which he exhibited at Juventus. He played 33 games for Juventus and had an impressive four goals and three assists in their Champions League campaign. But, this deal would be much more than his recent statistics. It is about his connection with Guardiola and how they synchronised seamlessly at Nou Camp to win two Champions League.

The player is a huge admirer of Guardiola who had a career changing influence on him since his move from Sevilla. Under his management Alves has appeared over 200 times, scoring 15 goals and assisting a phenomenal 67 times.

New Premier League champions Chelsea are also keen on landing the Brazilian, but going by this development, it is difficult for them to get a shot at him.

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