Manchester City have had an eventful summer transfer window - here's our verdict on it, tell us what you've made of it so far.
Manchester City fans are once again concerned about a left-back.
It has been a problem position for Pep Guardiola since Benjamin Mendy suffered a serious injury two months into his time at the Etihad in 2017, and supporters have hoped for a new recruit to add competition for the position pretty much every window since. Some years, the need has felt more pressing than others, and with the departure of Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal, that need has arguably never been greater.
City are aware that they are short of a left-back and have lined up alternatives in case they are unable to persuade Brighton to agree to a deal for Marc Cucurella. The club’s unwillingness to pay what they perceive to be excessive fees for targets has some Blues concerned that Joao Cancelo, who is not only not a left-back but is also expected to be a strong (and the only) competition for Kyle Walker at right-back, will be overburdened.
The departures of Zinchenko, as well as Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, and Fernandinho, have all had an impact on supporters in some way; it feels like a lot of experience, dressing room leadership, and club fabric to leave all at once. And for every fan who is relieved that youngsters Cole Palmer and James McAtee will have more opportunities now that competition for their places has dwindled, there is another who wonders if City should be strengthening their attack even more.
Guardiola would argue that Jack Grealish can be like a new signing though after a promising summer. The expectations of being a £100m transfer seemed to linger over the former Villa captain last season, but it is not uncommon for any player to take time to adapt to the City style of play and his linkup with Haaland in the tour game against Bayern Munich will only have heightened expectations.
If a step more into the unknown will naturally cause uncertainty for the worriers in the fanbase, it has been a hugely exciting summer of change that sets them up well for another assault on four competitions…as long as the club signs a left-back.
Pep Guardiola explains Kalvin Phillips omission in Man City Community Shield defeat
Pep Guardiola has said Manchester City’s other midfielders were more suited to play in Saturday’s 3-1 Community Shield loss to Liverpool, than Kalvin Phillips.
The summer signing, who arrived from Leeds United last month, wasn’t selected to make his competitive debut for the club, unlike Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez.
Phillips was an unused substitute at the King Power Stadium, with Guardiola starting Rodri, Bernardo Silva and Kevin De Bruyne in midfield, while Ilkay Gundogan was introduced in the second half.
It meant that City’s new No.4 had to watch Liverpool beat the Premier League champions to win the Community Shield.
Guardiola suggested after the game that the midfielders who did play were better prepared because they were familiar with his tactical approach, whereas Phillips is still adjusting to a new style after only a few weeks at the club.
“No, he is confident.” “He can play, he is ready to play,” Guardiola said following the game. “But he only arrived two, three weeks ago.”
“We have Rodri and Bernardo and Gundogan and they know [how we play]. Step by step he [Phillips] will get it. He’s an incredibly nice person and the season is so long. Many games he is going to help us.”