The Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern have been delighted by recent reports which link their club with a move for Eden Hazard, but there is reason to suggest that they should target another of Chelsea’s most talented stars this summer.
The Citizens faithful waved goodbye to one of the stalwarts of the club’s old guard, namely Yaya Toure at the end of the season following a magnificent 8 year spell in Manchester. Toure’s departure was a necessary step for the club to take towards global domination as he became nothing more than a back-up player towards the end of his career with the club.
Although the supporters will be reluctant to admit it, they will be forced to say goodbye to plenty more of their veteran players in the near future, as Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Fernandinho are aged 32, 32 and 33 respectively. The latter was an ever-present in Guardiola’s plans last season as he provided the perfect combination between defensive solidity and creative spark in a deep-lying anchor role for the club, but it’s unlikely he will be able to emulate the same level of intensity next season.
With that in mind, the City fans lining up our bar have been discussing a handful of players who could potentially replace him this summer, and so far they have failed to identify a player who is worthy of filling the Brazilian’s boots in the long-term future. However, one player who has been absent from discussions is N’Golo Kante (valued at £54 million by Transfermarkt), which is understandable given he plays for Chelsea – a club who are in direct competition with City for major honours.
Despite this, Guardiola should be considering the possibility of making an enquiry into his availability this summer, as without the prospect of Champions League football to look forward to Kante could be persuaded into a move away from the club. It’s also worth remembering that Chelsea sold Nemanja Matic to Manchester United last summer, so a transfer which saw Kante swap Stamford Bridge for the Etihad Stadium is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility.
With both tenacious work-ethic and incredible stamina to martial the midfield, the French international would have no problem succeeding Fernandinho in a defensive midfield role at City and, based on the form he has demonstrated in the last three seasons, it’s difficult to argue that there is a stronger candidate to replace City’s anchor man.
A potential move for Hazard which has been reported in The Daily Star is certainly a romantic one which is bound to provoke excitement amongst the City supporters, but his services are far from a necessity at the point in time, whereas Kante represents the ideal solution to the nagging problem of Fernandinho’s successor.
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