Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Update On Manchester City’s Pursuit Of Barcelona Full-Back: Why Guardiola Needs To Get Him On Board

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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 a recent report, Mundo Deportivo provided an update on Manchester City’s pursuit of Barcelona full-back Nelson Semedo this summer. The Spanish news outlet has mentioned that the Portuguese defender fancies a move to the Premier League with Juventus also interested in him. However, Barca wants to use their prized asset to orchestrate a deal for Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez (via Mundo Deportivo). It has also been suggested that the Catalans should swap Semedo for Man City’s Joao Cancelo and then, use the latter to bring Martinez to the Nou Camp (via Mundo Deportivo).

Semedo’s Eye-Catching Spell In Spanish Football

The 26-year-old has caught the eye after producing some impressive performances at the Nou Camp during this season. He has participated in 29 matches for the Catalan outfit this term and has provided five assists on all fronts which highlight his creative influence going forward. Semedo has managed to find a decent run of form in the La Liga which has made him such an essential member of Quique Setien’s squad.

The Portuguese right-back has averaged 2.0 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 0.7 clearances and 1.4 dribbles per game in the Spanish top tier this season (stats via whoscored). The talented full-back has performed slightly better in Europe after averaging 3.4 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 1.6 clearances and 1.8 dribbles in every 90 minutes of football in the UEFA Champions League so far (stats via whoscored).

Semedo has also made 14 senior appearances for the Portuguese national side but is yet to open his goal-scoring account for his homeland. If he can show some signs of improvement in the upcoming campaign, then he will be guaranteed a place in Fernando Santos’ squad for next year’s UEFA European Championship finals after the competition got delayed due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Update on Manchester City's pursuit of Nelson Semedo who is in action in the photo
Nelson Semedo of FC Barcelona runs with the ball during the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and Boca Juniors at Camp Nou on August 15, 2018, in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

What Will The Portuguese Defensive Ace Add To Pep Guardiola’s Team?

Semedo can use his quickness and agility to complete some dangerous dribbles with the ball down the right flank. He showcases outstanding ball control and dribbling skills, which enables him to cause a lot of headaches for the opposition out on the wide areas. The Portuguese international can work his socks off for the benefit of his side and has successfully transformed himself into a capable defensive presence because of his tenacity to earn the ball back inside his own half. He can position himself ideally to nip the danger in the bud and pull off a few vital last-ditch clearances at the back.

Why Pep Needs To Land Semedo This Summer

Semedo is versatile enough to be effective in both full-back positions, so a player of his calibre and potential will undoubtedly be a massive coup for the Citizens if they can figure out a way to bring him to the Etihad Stadium. He will not only add more pace and variety to Guardiola’s backline but also improve the overall depth of his squad. Semedo will also provide some much-needed competition for the likes of Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Oleksandr Zinchenko in the race to earn a regular starting place in the Man City first XI.

Furthermore, the Portuguese right-back will also offer Guardiola a chance to be flexible with his tactics, team sheets and formations more often next season which might help the Citizens close the gap to Liverpool at the summit of Premier League football. With all things considered, the Mancunian outfit would be wise to get Semedo on board before the start of the new campaign.

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