Manchester City winter window manifesto to win trophies
Matt Haynes | December 10, 2015
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have topped their Champions League group for the first time to progress to the last 16, which should make life easier for them.
With Manchester City also 7/5 favourites with Coral for Premier League glory, it could mean they have a busy January.
As such, we review what the club must do in the winter window to ensure that they have enough strength-in-depth to achieve their goals and cope with a demanding Premier League fixture schedule.
Perhaps their achilles heel this season, with Sergio Aguero sustaining yet another injury, it has left Wilfried Bony as the only senior first team striker and while the Ivory Coast man has shouldered the responsibility well, overuse by Pellegrini could cost City.
If the club could have a guarantee that every player would be injury free all season, there is no doubt they could win at least a couple of trophies. However, you could say that about a few teams.
The best option would be to bring in a forward who isn’t restricted from playing in the Champions League, though finding someone who is good enough could be a struggle.
Tottenham’s Harry Kane would be an obvious candidate, though Spurs are unlikely to entertain any offers until the summer, if at all.
An interesting option is Southampton’s Graziano Pelle, who has shown he is capable of scoring in the Premier League, is a regular for Italy, would relish the service on offer from a supporting cast and at 30 would understand being rotated.
A probable price-tag of between £15m and £20m is quite reasonable and easily affordable for City, though convincing the Saints to part with another star player, half way through the season could be a challenge.
More of a realistic option, who has shown star quality this term and began to show his potential is Stoke City’s Austrian striker Marko Arnautovic whose brace secured three points against Man City recently for the Potters.
At 26, he has a number of years left playing at the highest level and a move to the Citizens would offer him the opportunity to improve his game. Stoke would also more than likely be open to parting with him, if they receive an offer in the region of £20m which would mean they can reinvest in their squad.
City had an incredible start to the season in the Premier League and boasted a 100 per cent record after their first four matches, which included no goals against.
This was in part thanks to captain Vincent Kompany being in top form and his centre back partner Eliaquim Mangala having improved considerably. However, an injury to the pair has since cost them and despite bringing in talented Argentine Nicolas Otamendi in the summer, more might be needed.
While Everton’s John Stones is high on the list of a number of clubs, he may be beyond City’s reach, at least until the summer. Schalke’s highly-rated Benedikt Howedes could be a possibility, and while he would be eligible to play in the Champions League, his price-tag would likely be north of £20m which may be considered an unnecessary luxury.
Sprinkling of youth?
Often, instead of chasing high profile talents, clubs instead move for youth players, as was the case in 2015 when Arsenal acquired 17-year-old Krystian Bielik and Real Madrid brought in then 16-year-old Martin Odergaard.
Exciting Brazilian Evander Ferriera (17) will no doubt have come to the attention of City’s scouting department, as well as Argentinian Franco Lopez (17) who are both strikers and ply their trade for Vasco da Gama and River Plate respectively.
Check out what else is trending in the Premier League.