Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Manchester City Set To Enter ‘Final Negotiations’ For Barcelona Ace: Is He The Right Choice For Pep?

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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 Monday’s print edition of Sport (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness), Manchester City are set to enter ‘final negotiations’ for Barcelona full-back Nelson Semedo and are currently ‘the best placed’ club to acquire his services this summer. The same source has also claimed that the Citizens want to use Joao Cancelo in the deal to recruit the Portuguese wide player, but the Catalans are against that idea. It is believed that Semedo fancies a switch to the Premier League which will give Man City an advantage over Inter Milan and Juventus in the race to land him during the summer transfer period (via Sport).

Semedo’s Influential Role At The Nou Camp

The Lisboa-born defender has established himself as a crucial member of the Barca squad during this season. He has participated in 29 matches for the Catalan outfit this term while providing five assists across all fronts which sheds light on his growing creative influence in the opposition half.

Semedo has put in a series of consistent performances in the Spanish top-flight over the past nine months which explains why so many top clubs including Man City are hoping to snap him up this summer. The Portuguese utility player has averaged 2.0 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 0.7 clearances and 1.4 dribbles per game in the La Liga this season. The talented full-back has been a top performer in Europe as well 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 featured in 14 senior matches for the Portuguese national team but is still waiting to open his goal-scoring account for his country. If the 26-year-old can show a few signs of progress in the upcoming campaign, then he should have a good chance of earning a permanent spot in Fernando Santos’ first-team for next year’s UEFA European Championship finals following the competition’s postponement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manchester City set to enter 'final negotiations' for Semedo who is seen 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 International Add To Pep Guardiola’s Team?

Semedo can use his speed and agility to complete some lung-bursting dribbles in the attacking third. He shows excellent ball-control and has the turn of pace to get past the opposition out on the wide areas. The Portuguese right-back also possesses a tireless work ethic which allows him to cover a lot of ground and make recovering runs inside his own half. He is usually a reliable defender at the back due to his tenacity to earn the ball back for his side.

Semedo can read the danger quickly by positioning himself well to pull off a few essential last-ditch clearances but can sometimes lack the strength to outmuscle the opposition in the air. He has all the skillset required to be a success story at the Etihad Stadium if Guardiola can figure out a way to lure him to the north-west of England this summer.

The Barca full-back will not only add more pace and creativity to the Man City starting XI but also enhance the overall quality of their squad. Plus, he will offer some healthy competition for Kyle Walker, which might benefit the Mancunian outfit in the long-run. The 26-year-old can even provide adequate cover for the left-back position due to his incredible versatility to operate in either full-back roles when needed. All in all, Semedo will be a decent choice for the Citizens as he has the potential to become a world-class full-back under the expert stewardship of Guardiola in the coming seasons.

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