This is a guest post by Lachlan.
With the title already having almost been secured by Chelsea and with Manchester City likely to finish in the top four should they continue their recent excellent form, thoughts have already turned to the summer transfer window and the changes Pep Guardiola should make.
Many have voiced their opinions on which areas this City squad needs to be strengthened in, with most commenters believing that the manager should push for several additions. A goalkeeper is undoubtedly on the shopping list, as is a centre-half, especially if Vincent Kompany is unable to convince Guardiola that his fitness can be trusted. Two new full-backs, at least, are a requirements, whilst a central midfielder and new winger are also believed to be in the reckoning.
Yet it is at full-back where the biggest weakness in the squad currently lies. The quarter as Guardiola’s disposal at the moment are all the wrong side of 30. Do you agree that City will sign a new defender? Check out http://www.freebets.co.uk/sky-bet/ for plenty of options and odds!
On the right, Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna are both in the final year of their contracts. Zabaleta has been a wonderful servant to the club, his buccaneering runs from deep a feature of City’s play over the past few years – but his legs have largely gone and he does not carry the same threat when joining attacks. He epitomises the fighting spirit and battling qualities that supporters love to see, but it looks like it is time for him to move on.
His counterpart, Sagna, is better defensively and has proven adept at tucking inside to cover for his central defenders, but is limited going forward and it is felt he lacks the technical ability to adapt to Guardiola’s intricate and demanding style of play.
On the other side of the pitch, Gael Clichy is in a similar position to Zabaleta. He has been with the club for six years and has been a solid defender in that time, but is in the final few months of his contract and is unlikely to be at City this time next year.
His rival, Aleks Kolarov, has partially reinvented himself this year as a central-defender who is comfortable in bringing the ball out from the back and pinging passes into the strikers, but there are questions marks about his defending and Guardiola rarely selects him against tough opposition.
All of that means that Guardiola will look to the transfer market to bring in some new, younger, dynamic stars. City have already been linked with a whole host of players, including Gaya and Alba from Spain, and Bertrand and Rose from rival Premier League clubs. The chances are we will see at least two new full-backs join in the summer. Exciting times ahead for the Blues!