Hindsight is 20/20, and Manchester City’s decision not to bring in center back depth this summer is looking really poor.
That’ll happen when perhaps the most irreplaceable part of a hopeful quadruple contender goes out for the rest of 2019. Aymeric Laporte’s surgery means that John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi, and (probably) Fernandinho are an injury away from Manchester City using kids or Kyle Walker at center back.
The Daily Mail says that Pep Guardiola will buy a center back in January, five months after pulling out of the bidding for Harry Maguire when the price got too steep.
City almost has to go the transfer route, as the majority of high-ish end free agents on the market on attack-minded.
Laporte is not expected back until at least January, but what would a transfer be? The eventual successor to Otamendi, or something a bit less revolutionary than dropping $75 million on an absolute stud?
Either could work, but both will include inflated fees due to the clear desperation in the case of the buyers.
Also, quality center backs didn’t exactly move this summer. Aside from Maguire, most targets stayed home. Toby Alderweireld, Issa Diop, and James Tarkowski were linked with moves but went nowhere. David Luiz moved, perhaps only because Laurent Koscielny demanded out of Arsenal. Veterans Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill, and Ashley Williams opted for playing time, not that Guardiola would’ve been looking to “buy old,” either.
What we’re trying to say is… City’s going to have to spend a lot of dough if they want to buy someone.