After landing the most coveted coach in world football, Manchester City wasted little time in making their first summer signing.
German schemer Ilkay Gundogan last week became Pep Guardiola’s maiden purchase as Citizens boss, but more changes are surely afoot when the Spaniard officially takes charge on July 1st.
After outlining who Tottenham Hotspur should sign, sell and keep – read more about that here – we turn our intentions to what Man City must do.
Sign – Ryan Bertrand
The Citizens require a few arrivals if they are to justify their 2/1 pre-season favouritism for the Premier League title and left-back is one of their most prominent areas to improve.
Bertrand established himself as one of the leading full-backs in the top-tier last term, combining the prerequisite attacking qualities modern players in this position must have with an increasingly-seldom-seen understanding of the defensive side of the game.
He scored once for Southampton in the league and assisted three more, while he completed just shy of 80% of his passes too. Yet his positional awareness and speed was sufficient enough for Ronald Koeman to trust him to play at centre-back when he wanted to play 3-5-2.
Sell – Vincent Kompany
If it were two players, Wilfried Bony would certainly make the grade, but we’ve gone with Kompany.
As formidable a force as the Belgian undoubtedly is, his much-maligned fragility has too negative an impact for him to stay at the club long-term.
Psychologically, the sight of seeing him limp out of matches after the most innocuous of incidents does the team no favours, with freshly-dropped deputies forced back into the fray having only recently come to terms with the fact that their selection depends entirely on the availability of the skipper.
Now 30, logic dictates his injury woes will only worsen, so sell now and make a decent profit on a player who cost just £6m.
Keep – Yaya Toure
Apathetic he may sometimes seem and temperamental he certainly is, but Toure remains one of the Premier League’s most devastating midfield forces.
His brute strength and eye for goal renders him an invaluable asset and, even though he may not fit into Guardiola’s modus operandi, used sparingly he could still be an enormous threat, offering a direct alternative to the possession-focussed game the Spaniard will insist on playing.