Man City must tackle a greater area of need than centre-back
Everybody knows Manchester City’s owners have enough cash to make Bill Gates blush, but the 4/6 Premier League title favourites splashing out another £50m in a position they appear to have covered seems insensible.
Captain Vincent Kompany’s latest return lasted just one game, the 2-1 EFL Cup triumph over Swansea, with the veteran Belgium international suffering his 17th injury since joining the club in the summer of 2008.
A measure of panic has spread around the Etihad since, with Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci strongly tipped as a January target to bolster City’s centre-half ranks.
However, it’s questionable whether Kompany would have regained his place in the XI under Pep Guardiola.
The combination of £47.5m summer signing John Stones, Argentina international Nicolas Otamendi, nominal left-back Aleksandar Kolarov and one-size-fits-all Brazilian Fernandinho have ensured Kompany’s absence wasn’t felt during the first five weeks of the campaign.
Four clean sheets and the concession of just one goal in each of City’s other five 2016/17 games have helped Guardiola’s side top the Premier League and sail through to the EFL Cup last 16, while only the Catalan’s former club Barcelona sit ahead of his new charges in Champions League Group C.
Stones and Otamendi already look a formidable duo, with the former tending to switch roles with holding-midfielder Fernandinho mid-match in order to showcase his feted passing range.
Were City to spend £50m on 29-year-old Bonucci in January, the burgeoning partnership would surely be broken up before it had time to really flourish, so targeting a younger, cheaper alternative – such as AC Milan’s Alessio Romagnoli – would make more sense.
Besides, with full-backs Kolarov, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta all on the wrong side of 30, there are clearly other areas of Guardiola’s defence in need of strengthening.
Man City are 4/11 to beat Swansea for the second time in four days on their return to the Liberty Stadium in the Premier League.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.