The Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern have been mightily impressed by Fabian Delph’s performances at left-back so far this season, but they are concerned that they lack adequate cover in the event that he gets injured.
Pep Guardiola brought Benjamin Mendy to the club from Monaco last summer for a fee in the region of £52 million – a world-record price for a defender at the time. Mendy began his career in Manchester in fantastic form as City’s first-choice left-back, but the French international suffered an unfortunate cruciate ligament injury in only his 5th appearance for the club which has ruled him out ever since.
In Mendy’s absence, Fabian Delph has deputised at left-back and become one of the surprise packages of the season in the Premier League.
Delph is conventionally a central-midfield player, but you never would have guessed it based on the evidence of his performances at left-back for the club so far.
The England international has been an ever-present in the starting eleven, and he is highly trusted by City’s manager in that position, however, there is a concern that an injury could leave The Citizens desperately short of cover.
Guardiola does have Danilo to call upon to fill the void left by Delph, but the fact he is naturally right-footed could upset the balance of the team.
With that being said, City should consider the signing of Patrick Van Aanholt from Crystal Palace this month.
Despite previously playing for Chelsea, Van Aanholt is relatively inexperienced in a top-four side, but he has plenty of attributes to suggest he could succeed in Guardiola’s system. Rated at just £8.10m on Transfermarkt, the former Sunderland man would be a very astute addition at the Etihad.
First of all he is left-footed, and, like most modern full-backs, the Dutch international is very comfortable in possession.
During his career in the English top-flight, he has demonstrated the ability to hurt the opposition in the final-third – a quality which Guardiola values and seeks in his players.
Considering Van Aanholt has had to play understudy to Jeffrey Schlupp of late, the door may be open for him to leave Selhurst Park this month, so City should consider the possibility of encouraging him to take a step up in class and provide cover for Delph.
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