The Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern were pleased to see their side return to winning ways against Watford on Tuesday night.
Pep Guardiola’s side finished 2017 by dropping points in the Premier League for the first time in 18 matches, but they immediately bounced back in 2018 to begin the year with a comfortable 3-1 victory against Marco Silva’s Watford at the Etihad Stadium. City managed to cruise to victory in the absence of Gabriel Jesus who has been ruled out for the foreseeable future with a medial collateral ligament injury.
The striker’s mantle was left to the club’s all-time top-goalscorer Sergio Aguero, and the Argentine got himself on the scoresheet in the 63rd minute when he tapped home a loose ball in the 6-yard box after Heurelho Gomes had spilt Kevin de Bruyne’s cross back into the danger area.
But despite the level of strength in depth within City’s ominously powerful squad, they will struggle to achieve their objectives this year with only one natural and fully fit striker available for selection.
Guardiola’s reported interest in bringing Alexis Sanchez to the Etihad proves that he is fully aware of City’s lack of options up front and that he is trying to rectify the issue this month.
However, Guardiola should use this opportunity to expose City’s youngster Lukas Nmecha in the first-team whilst Jesus is injured to catalyse his development.
Nmecha has only made 1 appearance for the first-team so far during their Carabao Cup victory over Leicester in December, but his record of 8 goals from 7 appearances for the U23 squad suggests he could be ready for the step-up very shortly.
At the very least, Guardiola should consider putting Nmecha on the bench in the next few weeks in order to ease him into his new environment and give him valuable experience of being a part of the first-team.
Naturally, City should still pursue Sanchez as he is more naturally suited to a wide, or number role, but Nmecha should be boosted to the senior squad whilst Jesus is injured and tasked with pushing Sergio Aguero for a starting berth.