Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Manchester City Set To Rival PSG In Pursuit Of This Serie A Midfielder: Good Option 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.

Calciomercato has recently reported that Manchester City are set to rival Paris Saint-Germain in pursuit of AC Milan midfielder Ismaël Bennacer. It is understood that the Algerian international’s incredible rise at the San Siro this season has not gone unnoticed with Pep Guardiola’s men hoping to land him in the future (via Calciomercato).

Bennacer’s Impressive Form In Italian Football This Season

The Arles-born talent has already made 11 appearances for the Milan giants this season, picking up three assists across all fronts. He has begun this campaign in good form and has been a consistent feature at the heart of Stefano Pioli’s midfield.

The 22-year-old has impressed a lot with his performances in midfield by averaging 1.1 tackles, 1.0 interceptions and 1.8 dribbles per game in the Serie A and the UEFA Europa League. Bennacer has also distributed possession accurately across the field as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 90.2% in league football (stats via whoscored).

The 23-time Algerian international has been one of the top performers in the AC Milan starting XI but needs to add a few goals to his game if he intends to become a more versatile midfielder in the future. For now, he will be satisfied for earning regular playing time at the San Siro, but his head could turn if Man City or PSG decide to make an offer to recruit him with the lure of UEFA Champions League football this winter or at the end of this campaign.

Manchester City to rival Paris Saint-Germain in pursuit of Bennacer who is in action in the photo
Ismael Bennacer of Empoli FC in action during the Serie A match between Empoli and Torino FC at Stadio Carlo Castellani on May 19, 2019, in Empoli, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

What Does The Algerian Midfielder Bring To The Table?

Bennacer is a moderately-paced midfielder who is not afraid to work his socks off for the benefit of his side. He is quick and agile enough to make some darting runs in the opposition half and can also scan the danger well that allows him to pull off some decent interceptions at the back. The Algerian sensation can also be quite tidy with his ball-distribution but can sometimes get caught out of position, which makes him a liability on the field.

Is Bennacer A Decent Option For Man City?

Currently, Pep Guardiola has got Rodri, Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan vying for a holding midfield place in his first XI at the Etihad Stadium. Hence, the Man City head coach has no immediate need to sign someone like Bennacer, who is still quite inexperienced at the highest level.

At the same time, there is no denying that the AC Milan youngster will be a good option for the Mancunian outfit to consider in January or next summer. However, his contract at the San Siro expires in the summer of 2024, so it won’t be easy for Guardiola to convince the Italian club into doing business any time soon. All in all, Man City would be wise to monitor his development before deciding whether to launch a move for him once he hits his peak in the coming seasons.

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