Friday, August 19, 2022

Manchester City Refusing To Give Up Chase Of This Serie A Defender: The Right Choice For Guardiola?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Calciomercato, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is not willing to give up on Inter Milan centre-back Milan Skriniar just yet as he wants to address his side’s defensive problems from this season. The same source has also claimed that the Citizens boss might adjust his offer for the talented defender after his €65m bid was declined by the Serie A giants a year ago.

Skriniar’s Outstanding Season At Milan 

The 25-year-old has enjoyed a solid campaign at the San Siro and has been responsible for putting in several commanding performances at the heart of Antonio Conte’s backline. He has made 32 appearances for the Italian outfit this term, playing a total of 2762 minutes in the process.

Skriniar has averaged 1.2 tackles, 0.9 interceptions and 2.9 clearances per 90 minutes in league football this season. However, his numbers have been slightly better in the UEFA Champions League where he had averaged 2.5 tackles, 1.8 interceptions and 2.3 clearances per game before the season came to a standstill because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic (stats via whoscored).

The Slovak defender can be considered amongst the best centre-backs in the Serie A based on his recent form at the San Siro. He has also secured 31 senior caps for the Slovakia national team thus far. He will be expected to play a crucial role for his country in their UEFA Euro qualifier against the Republic of Ireland which got postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

What Does The Slovakia International Bring To The Table?

Skriniar is a dominant centre-half inside his own penalty box and usually wins the major share of his aerial duels with the opposition. He is often quick to read the danger and can position himself ideally to make an interception or a clearance based on the situation in front of him. Furthermore, the Slovak defender is not afraid to put his body on the line when his goalkeeper is left exposed at the back.

There is no doubt that Skriniar has raised his stock in European football since making a switch from Sampdoria back in 2017. He is far more matured defender and has shown outstanding defensive awareness to maintain a solid defensive record at the San Siro this season.

Is Skriniar The Right Choice For The Citizens?

Man City need to strengthen their squad if they want to maintain their stranglehold in English football. With Liverpool running away with the Premier League title this season, Guardiola will have no other option than to splash the cash on a quality defender like Skriniar.

With Nicolas Otamendi in the last legs of his football career and John Stones going through a tough run with injuries, the Citizens would be wise to recruit a world-class centre-half when the transfer window reopens later this summer. The Slovak defender is a class act in defence and ticks all the right boxes in terms of what Guardiola demands from his defenders. He even boasts an excellent pass success rate of 92.3% in the Serie A this season which makes him an excellent choice for the Mancunian giants (stats via whoscored).

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