5 centre-backs Manchester City should be targetting in January
Manchester City is currently at the top of their game leading both in the Premier League and in their group in the UEFA Champions League.
Pep Guardiola’s men have been rightly lauded for their swashbuckling style of play with games involving the Citizens often averaging more than 2 goals a game.
While the team’s attacking impetus has entranced the watching world, the team’s defensive work has been better than last season’s horror show.
Goalkeeper Ederson Moraes, a summer purchase from Benfica has been at the heart of everything good about the City defence with his agility, long kicks, organizational skills and bravery helping to keep the team on the front foot at all times.
The improvement of John Stones and the pace and aggression of new full-backs Kyle Walker & Benjamin Mendy has also helped City attain a better level of defensive solidity.
However, Nicholas Otamendi’s erratic nature, Vincent Kompany’s continued battle with injuries and Eliaquim Mangala’s continued deterioration as a defender means that Manchester City is one injury away from a full-blown defensive crisis.
Pep is said to have told sporting director Txixi Begiristain to get a new centre-back in January as he can no longer rely on Kompany or Mangala leaving Stones and Otamendi as the only wanted centre-backs.
Vincent has been a great servant since his arrival in Manchester in 2008 but a club with the aspirations of Manchester City cannot continue to rely on the occasional fitness of its captain.
#5. Dayotchanculle Upamecano (RB Leipzig)
The 19-year old Frenchman has been linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium and should fit in perfectly with Pep Guardiola’s philosophy of buying young exciting players.
Standing at 1.85cm, the graduate of Valenciennes FC’s youth set up is widely regarded along with OGC Nice player Malang Sarr as one of the most exciting centre-backs in France under the age of 21.
Blessed with pace, good reading of the game as well as an intelligence belied by his years, the youngster has become an integral element of the defence for his German club; RB Leipzig.
Playing alongside captain Willy Orban in the centre of the defence, Dayot has already appeared 8 times for the team in the league this season. He has also featured in all of the team’s three UEFA Champions League games so far.
He was rumoured to be a summer target for Liverpool FC after they failed in their pursuit of Dutchman Virgil van Dijk but the outstanding sporting director of Die Roten Bullen; Ralf Ragnick reportedly scared away Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool scouts with a €100m asking price.