Monday, February 6, 2023

Should Southampton Allow Bertrand To Join Manchester City To Land This Exciting Forward?

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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.

Manchester City’s third-choice striker Kelechi Iheanacho is a hot transfer prospect this summer for numerous clubs. The 20-year-old has shown all the potential to become a prolific centre-forward if given regular playing time and as per reports, Southampton are now willing to trade Ryan Bertrand for the Nigerian international.

A source told The Sun, “If the right offer comes in, he will go, and Ryan Bertrand is an option that has been talked about in the past. We know Saints are fans of Nacho after his performances against them in the past, he has an amazing record.”

The Saints have been in the race to land him amongst other Premier League rivals West Ham United, Everton and Leicester, and their offering of the in-demand full-back could solve things for both sides. Pep Guardiola has slapped a mammoth £25 million price tag on Iheanacho, a valuation that has dissatisfied many of his suitors.

London club West Ham United are even reportedly willing to bid something in the region of £20 million for the striker, but Southampton could win the race, thanks to Bertrand. Guardiola had wasted no time in disposing of his ageing defenders as soon as the season ended. In fact, at 20 Iheanacho is the only young player Guardiola doesn’t see in his plans.

If reports are to be believed, City have plans of a massive £300 million transfer activity over the summer, in which the outgoing players are expected to fetch them something in the region of £130 million. With the departure of Gael Clichy already, Guardiola is left with Aleksandar Kolarov as the only feasible options on the left defensive flank.

And Bertrand possesses all the attributes the Spanish boss wants. On the flank, he has shown some terrific movements last term with his brilliant pace on and off the ball. He scored twice and assisted five times for Southampton last season. He is also a prominent player in the England squad now with Danny Rose absent, and City could get a different attacking dimension with his addition.

New Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino wants a proven striker up front to give the perfect support to Charlie Austin and Manolo Gabbiadini, and Iheanacho seems the perfect fit. Mostly a bench player last season, the youngster has managed to score four goals and three assists in 20 league appearances.

Since making his debut for the Nigerian national team back in 2015, Iheanacho has played 10 times, scoring six goals in the process. His tremendous work rate could be a huge advantage for Southampton’s free flowing football.

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