According to the latest reports from the Evening Standard, Manchester City are set to end their interest for Leicester City’s left-back Ben Chillwell. Pep Guardiola is said to be satisfied with the form of Oleksandr Zinchenko since the turn of the year, and he is going to reward him with a new contract. The club is also willing to give Benjamin Mendy another season to prove himself after his two injury-ridden seasons at the Etihad.
Chilwell has been a long term target for the Citizens, and the England international was expected to follow Riyad Mahrez’s path. The 22-year-old left back has a long term contract at the King Power Stadium as he is contracted to stay at the club until 2024. Therefore he wouldn’t have come in cheap, and that could probably be one of the reasons why City decided to end their pursuit.
However, money is never a significant issue for the Citizens, and they could have gone ahead and paid Leicester City’s asking price. It seems the emergence of Zinchenko has made the real difference here.
Why might Pep have dropped Chilwell’s pursuit?
Chilwell would have been an upgrade over Zinchenko, but people also need to remember that the club has someone like Benjamin Mendy who was brought in for big money. Therefore if Mendy became fit, then Chilwell might have had to play second fiddle. At 22, he is too good a player to be sitting on the bench so even from Chilwell’s point of view; we think that not moving to City is the right decision for him.
However, Mendy’s injury would be a concern for Guardiola, and the next season could be a make or break one for the Frenchman. He has looked impressive while playing but he hasn’t played often enough in the last two seasons. In all this, Zinchenko has emerged as a big winner.
The Ukranian is a midfielder by trade, but since he is a left-footed player, Guardiola decided to give him a go in the left back spot, and he has made that spot his own.
Is Guardiola taking the right call?
On the other hand, Chilwell has continued to impress at Leicester City with his direct style of play and ability to carry the ball from the back. There is no doubt that he would have settled in well in Guardiola’s system, but City probably felt that Zinchenko deserves to be in the reckoning for that spot after he served them well in the absence of Mendy. We think that the Spanish manager has made the right decision here.