City have made an average start to this season by their standards. With the failure to replace Vincent Kompany, as well as a serious injury to their best centre back, Laporte, it has led to some poor defensive performances of late and has resulted in them conceding far too many goals. These errors by both Otamendi and Stones have left serious questions about their latest defence of the Premier League title. With Liverpool’s storming start, it seems even at this early stage that this could finally be their year for the Premier League to come to Anfield.
City have made a strong start in the Champions League, winning all 3 games, and it is almost certain for City to be heading to the knockout stages of the competition. With the round of 16 games taking place in February, it means Laporte should be back in their squad, as well as potential recruitments in January to add some much-needed depth to their defence. Laporte has been a massive miss in recent weeks, with City lacking the composure that he brings.
Much can be said about City and their activity in the transfer market, they have spent over £315m on their current defence (Angelino, Cancelo, Laporte, Mendy, Otamendi, Stones & Walker). Staggering. And to suggest that buy another centre back, which will undoubtably cost upwards of £50 million, is quite simply ludicrous. An alternative approach could be investing inwardly and utilising the promising young talent nurtured through Manchester City’s training programme and modern facilities.
They do have two young defensive prospects in their squad, in Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis., but Pep hasn’t taken a massive liking to them. Instead, he has opted in the last two games against Atalanta and Palace to play two holding midfielders at centre-back. Now this is utterly baffling but suggests that he is likely planning on signing a new centre back in January.
City need to go all out if they want the trophy that they are in such need of. The Champions League would prove City’s imminent dominance of world football. They need a player that can lead them to this trophy, especially with the departure of Vincent Kompany, they are in need of a true leader at the back. De Ligt would have been perfect for the role. However, this would be very unlikely, with the recent move to Juventus.
Phil Jones, would without question, be a brilliant piece of business, from Manchester United’s perspective. Jan Vertonghen, however, would be an ideal candidate. Vertonghen, 32, could potentially be a quick fix to their defensive problems. He has plenty of experience at the top level, playing for Spurs since 2012, as well as playing for Belgium internationally, captaining both on occasions. This would be affordable as he is out of contract in the summer according to Transfermarkt, meaning a cut-price deal could be on the cards in January. He could bring the experience and depth to an already strong squad to mount a charge for the unprecedented quadruple. Could Champions league success be on the horizon for Manchester City?