Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Update On Manchester City’s Pursuit Of Barcelona Full-Back: Should Pep Orchestrate A Move For Him?

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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.

In Sunday’s print edition, Marca provided an update on Manchester City’s pursuit of Barcelona full-back Nelson Semedo. The Spanish news outlet reported that the talks between the Citizens and the Catalans are at an’ embryonic’ stage with Pep Guardiola not serious about pushing a deal through for the Portuguese defender this summer (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness). Even though the Mancunian outfit have been offered a chance to land Semedo, yet it is believed that they are not too keen on bringing the talented right-back to the Etihad Stadium in this off-season (via Sport Witness).

Semedo’s Fruitful Season At Catalonia

The 26-year-old has earned a lot of praises for his eye-catching performances at the Nou Camp during this campaign. He has made 29 appearances for Quique Setien’s side this term while providing five assists in all competitions which showcases his excellent creativity going forward.

Semedo has produced several impressive displays in the Spanish top-flight which has made him an important squad player for the Catalan giants. The Portuguese international has averaged 2.0 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 0.7 clearances and 1.4 dribbles in every 90 minutes of football in the La Liga this season (stats via whoscored). The attack-minded full-back has found a decent run of form in Europe as well after averaging 3.4 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 1.6 clearances and 1.8 dribbles per game in the UEFA Champions League so far (stats via whoscored).

Semedo has also earned 14 senior caps for the Portuguese national side but is still waiting to net his first goal for his homeland. If the Lisboa-born talent can maintain or even better his stats in the upcoming campaign, then he should have a good shot of securing a spot in Fernando Santos’ squad for next year’s UEFA European Championship finals after the competition was delayed because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Update on Manchester City's pursuit of Nelson Semedo who is seen in the photo
Nelson Semedo of FC Barcelona reacts during the Liga match between Granada CF and FC Barcelona at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes on September 21, 2019, in Granada, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

What Are The Portuguese Full-back’s Best Attributes?

Semedo boasts decent pace and agility that allows him to make some lung-bursting runs with the ball out on the wide areas. He is a composed dribbler who can create all sorts of problems for the opposition down the right flank. The Portuguese international has a good engine in him and is not shy about covering a lot of ground for the benefit of his teammates. He has proven himself to be a reliable defender at the back as he possesses the tenacity to win possession inside his own half. The talented workhorse is also quick to read the danger and can position himself well to pull off a few vital last-ditch clearances for his side.

Should The Citizens Orchestrate A Move For Semedo This Summer?

Man City needs to add more competition for Kyle Walker, who has sometimes faded in and out of games this season. Joao Cancelo’s performances in England this season have left a lot to be desired which has increased Pep Guardiola’s need to recruit a new right-back.

A full-back of Semedo’s skillset and attacking prowess would have been a shrewd addition to the Citizens squad ahead of the new campaign. He would have added more pace and defensive stability to Guardiola’s squad. So Man City should consider changing their stance on bringing the Portuguese defender to the north-west of England this summer.

All in all, Guardiola should consider orchestrating a move to acquire Semedo’s services as he ticks all the right boxes in terms of what the Spaniard expects from his full-backs. Plus, the Barca wide player will also provide some healthy competition for Walker in the race to secure a regular right-back berth at the Etihad Stadium next season.

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