Manchester City are the cream of the crop at the moment. Week by week, Pep Guardiola's side seem to have inserted a new dimension to their already pernicious brand of football. Given how they have gone about their business in the last 24 months, it looks like just a matter of time until the Cityzens have a grasp on every trophy.
Quite relentless in nature, Manchester City couple attacking football with astute positioning, counter-attacking and discipline.
They have done some stellar business in recent windows, having snapped up match-winners and filled gaping holes with players such as Kyle Walker, the brilliant Ederson, Bernardo Silva and the latest of them all, Rodri from Atletico Madrid.
While the club's hierarchy is not short of money from any aspect, they haven't gone all guns blazing in the ongoing transfer window, besides the signing of a Fernandinho replacement. They could include a couple of more additions, and it'd be best to do so by freeing up some space from the squad.
On that note, we look at three players Manchester City must sell before the transfer window comes to a close.
Here's a youngster who resigned for the club just a couple of weeks back, after impressing in Netherlands and growing by leaps and bounds in his game. Angelino, after a series of loan spells, finally settled at PSV before Guardiola and co. decided to re-sign the player by triggering a buy-back clause.
However, with Oleksandr Zinchenko having cemented his place as a neat and dangerous left back and the return of the talented Benjamin Mendy expected real soon, it is safe to say that the 22-year-old will not buy himself the ideal game time.
One might question this argument by placing Mendy's threatening injury scares on the table, but Angelino has thus far failed to impress in pre-season, as visible in the fixture against West Ham.
In fact, former Manchester City defender Andy Hinchcliffe took no time to make notice of the starlet's poor displays. He bluntly revealed:
"Angelino was absolutely awful in both games. He was dreadful. They’ve got Benjamin Mendy and Oleks Zinchenko – there’s no way Angelino is going to get into this City team. His performances have been dreadful."
“Maybe he’s trying too hard, trying to prove how good a player he is, but positionally he was all over the place, one-on-one he wasn’t good enough.”
Given how arduous the intensity levels are required in Guardiola's system, and the fact that it might take the young bloke some time to gel in, it might be viable for Manchester City to loan him to a club in England itself, so that he gets accustomed to the Premier League and stake a proper claim for a first team spot next season.
#2 Claudio Bravo
Just for his sake and the potential oozing out of his spring-like boots, Claudio Bravo must hit the exit doors.
Standing tall between the sticks at 36, it'd be best for the Chilean to fetch valuable game time at the dying stages of his career. Bravo is excellent with his feet, a master at stopping dead balls and someone who never hesitates to come off his line. Not to mention, his shot-stopping abilities are highly praiseworthy as well.
Bravo and the Premier League haven't yet gotten along, as in his first season at Manchester City, the former Sociedad and Barcelona gloveman committed more errors leading to goals than any other keeper in the top six. Surely, he's not getting past Ederson now as the first choice.
It's now no time to experiment, as it would be best for the club to give a youngster a chance, while Bravo could press restart for probably one last time in his lengthy career.
#1 Eliaquim Mangala
Signed from Porto in 2014, Eliaquim Mangala was meant to strengthen Manchester City's defense in the physical aspect, as he was then one of the most robust defenders around. However, lapses in concentration, failure to put in error-free performances, and average ability with the ball at his feet meant that Mangala's City career met a blow.
As a result, the center-half was loaned out to Valencia and later, Everton. While playing for the latter, he was preferred by boss Marco Silva, but a couple of horror shows across the backline cost him his spot.
The biggest issue with Mangala is his tendency to switch off and overlook the line of defense, which ends up playing strikers onside. This could be terribly dangerous for Guardiola, who loves to keep a high line.
Therefore, it's safe for the Manchester City hierarchy to trust their three central defenders and probably buy another by freeing up a player here.