According to a recent report by RMC Sport, Manchester City are ready to launch a move quickly for AC Milan midfield ace Ismael Bennacer during the summer transfer period. The same source has also revealed that the Citizens manager Pep Guardiola has ‘called the player personally to explain his project to him’ but could face competition from Paris Saint-Germain in pursuit of his services this summer. It is understood that the Algerian midfielder, who has a €50m release clause in his current contract with AC Milan, would want a few guarantees regarding playing time (via RMC Sport).
Bennacer’s Rise To Prominence Over The Past Couple Of Years
The 22-year-old has enjoyed a solid debut season at the San Siro after producing several battling performances at the heart of Stefano Pioli’s backline. He has featured in 23 matches for the Milan giants this term, picking up one assist and 12 yellow cards in the process across all competitions which highlight his disciplinary issues on the field.
Bennacer deserves credit for his all-round contributions at the centre of the park after he averaged 2.4 tackles, 1.7 interceptions, 0.8 key passes and 3.0 dribbles per game in the Serie A this season. He has also been very accurate with his ball-distribution as evidenced by his pass success rate of 86.4% in league football so far (stats via whoscored).
The Arles-born talent has also earned 22 senior caps for the Algerian national team but is yet to open his goal-scoring account for his country. He managed to help his nation win the African Cup of Nations last year and will be expected to play a crucial role for them in the next edition of the competition.
What Does The Algerian International Bring To The Table?
Bennacer can do a bit of everything in midfield and has decent pace in his locker that allows him to cover a lot of ground inside his own half. He excels at making some crucial interceptions for his side and also tends to work tirelessly to provide adequate protection for the backline. The Algerian can utilise his agility and ball-control to pull off some driving runs with the ball from midfield. However, the jury is still out on whether he would be able to cope with the physicality and high intensity of English football.
Will Signing Bennacer Be A Wise Move For Man City?
Bennacer could serve as a capable back-up for Rodri and a long-term replacement for Fernandinho at the Etihad Stadium. The presence of his international colleague, Riyad Mahrez, might also ease his life at the north-west of England. The AC Milan defensive midfielder will not only add more bite and steel to Guardiola’s midfield but also enhance the overall depth of his squad.
At 22, he is only going to get better with each season, so the Citizens will do well to lure him away from the San Siro before the start of the new campaign. Furthermore, Bennacer will also offer some healthy competition for İlkay Gündoğan and Tommy Doyle at Manchester next season. All in all, recruiting a player of Bennacer’s skill set and potential could prove to be a wise move for the Mancunian outfit in the long-run.