Look at the record of these three Manchester City attacking midfielders this season.
James Milner – 15 appearances, 0 goals
Jesus Navas – 16 appearances,0 goals
Samir Nasri – 12 appearances, 0 goals
This trio may be Manuel Pellegrini’s top three goal creators with 12 assists between them, but it goes without saying that a team of Manchester City’s stature must expect more goals from their advanced players, despite the goal-getting exploits of Yaya Toure and Frank Lampard from deeper positions.
It is especially critical at the moment with leading strikers Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic all unavailable.
And this is the reason why Pellegrini would be wrong to target Kevin De Bruyne in January if he is in the market for another attacking midfielder.
The rumour mill has spun the story that the Citizens are keen on the Wolfsburg man, who is considered to be worth in the ball park of £20m.
De Bruyne has shown no ill effects from a quiet time at Chelsea, as he is the stand-out creator in the Bundesliga this season with ten assists. The next highest is six.
However, with David Silva almost unmoveable as Man City’s number ten and the above-mentioned trio doing their bit in terms of assists, another creative midfielder is not what should be on the new year’s shopping list of the Premier League champions.
On the other hand, a goalscorer is and if Man City scouts travel the 222 miles across Germany from Wolfsburg to Leverkusen, the player that is a better fit to their needs can be found.
Only three players have scored more than Karim Bellarabi’s eight goals this season and this is despite him starting the majority of matches stationed out on the right flank.
Here is how the four-time capped German matches up to De Bruyne in four leading attacking departments.
What is also of note is the speed that Bellarabi would bring to Man City’s attacks, as they can often be a little pedestrian in their build-up play.
Not only is he quick, he has completed the most successful dribbles in the Bundesliga so far this season and a midfielder that can make something happen for himself is an asset that Pellegrini doesn’t truly have at present, certainly not in the mould of an Eden Hazard, Angel Di Maria or Alexis Sanchez.
It is 4/1 that Bellarabi joins a Premier League club before the closing of the January transfer window and his attributes are certainly among those that could keep Man City on the coattails of Chelsea in the Premier League title race.