Manchester City Eye Move For Juventus Veteran As Stones Replacement: Shrewd Business By Pep?

MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 13: Leonardo Bonucci of Juventus in action during the Coppa Italia Semi Final match between AC Milan and Juventus at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on February 13, 2020 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by the Daily Star, reigning Premier League Champions Manchester City are said to be considering moving for Juventus’ Italian international centre-half Leonardo Bonucci. The report suggests that the veteran Serie A defender is being lined up to replace former Everton man John Stones in the summer, with the Englishman already being told that his days at the Etihad are now numbered.

It is claimed that Guardiola is hell-bent on adding a world-class defender to their ranks in the summer, and Bonucci seems to be the man that they have identified. Adding a player of the Italian’s quality into the back-line would automatically spell the end of Stones’ short and underwhelming Manchester City career.

What Was Manchester City’s Defensive Situation This Season? 

The Citizens started the season in the best possible way, by beating European Champions Liverpool in the Community Shield. Although there were some positive signs, the early injury to Aymeric Laporte put a massive dent in Guardiola’s plans.

Despite having John Stones available in reserve, the gaffer preferred to utilise Fernandinho in a makeshift role alongside Nicolas Otamendi. As has been suggested in the aforementioned report, Guardiola has been quite vocal about his disappointment with Stones, as the manager is said to have become extremely frustrated about the centre-half’s lack of fitness and desire.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 19: John Stones of Manchester City passes the ball during the Premier League match between Manchester City and West Ham United at Etihad Stadium on February 19, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

What Would Bonucci Add To The City Back-Line? 

The Italian international has been around the European footballing scene for more than 15 years now, and it’s perhaps not overly surprising that Guardiola has identified the Juventus man as an assured option at the back. Usually composed even in the most high-pressure situation, the veteran defender’s unquantifiable amount of experience and sheer footballing know-how is sure to have a positive impact, especially if deployed alongside the more dynamic Laporte.

One of the manager’s biggest issues with John Stones would surely be the fact that he seems to dwell on the ball for too long. Despite having time and opportunities to clear, the Englishman prefers you dribble his way out of trouble at times. These are aspects of defending that a player like Bonucci would never understand. The former Inter Milan man is one of the few remaining old-school, no-nonsense defenders left in Europe, and it’s safe to say that he’s still has a fair bit of regular football ahead of him.

Why Manchester City Must Replace Stones With Bonucci?

Saying that the Englishman in question has failed to live up to the massive expectations would only be an understatement, as he continues to be one of the most unconvincing centre-halves in the entire league. Bonucci, on the other hand, has had the experience of winning the Serie A title six years running, and would surely be an upgrade on Stones. The Italian skipper is a veteran of just under 100 caps for the national team and would be a surefire way to fix what has been an extremely questionable City defence line.

Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.