Manchester City supporters in the Transfer Tavern have been looking back at their team’s incredible season thus far, which looks set to get even better in the second half of the campaign as competitions reach their final phases.
Pep Guardiola’s men are all but certain to win the Premier League title this term given their huge lead over neighbours Manchester United, while the Citizens will also participate in the final of the Carabao Cup later this month against Arsenal hoping to win the trophy for the third time in five years. Add in their run to the fifth round of the FA Cup, where they will face Wigan Athletic in a few weeks’ time, as well as their progress to the last 16 of the Champions League, and the quadruple is very much on for Guardiola and his players in the second half of the season.
Subsequently, there have been many upbeat and joyous City fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are daring to dream about what their team could go on to achieve this season, and indeed in the years to come.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty for our resident Citizens supporters to discuss, not least recent reports suggesting that the club will end their pursuit of Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez despite intense interest at the end of the January transfer window.
And while the Algeria international is clearly a hugely influential player, City are right to end their interest, and they should now forget about Mahrez and instead target a move for Leicester teammate Demarai Gray instead.
Ultimately, there is no doubting the talent and potential the 21-year-old has at his disposal.
The winger was hugely impressive at Birmingham City to earn himself a move to the Foxes back in 2016, and while he isn’t always a first choice at the King Power Stadium, he often makes a difference when he is on the pitch.
And at the age of 21, the England Under-21 international is five years younger than his Leicester teammate, and Guardiola may look at Gray’s raw ability as an out-and-out winger as something he can mature and develop into a top quality player.
Clearly, Gray possesses the sort of pace and trickery that both Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane have, with all three willing to take defenders on, get the ball wide, and make the pitch big to stretch opposition backlines and create space for themselves and other teammates – thus, Gray is the sort of player Guardiola will surely want.
And while Gray may be concerned about first team opportunities at the Etihad Stadium, he should focus on what Guardiola has done to Sterling’s game since his arrival at the club, as the England international struggled to begin with but has been given a huge lift by the Spaniard, and is now playing as good as he ever has done.
Sterling is more consistent now than ever before and much of that appears to be down to the influence of Guardiola – Gray may seek that guidance as well to fulfil his own undoubted potential.
So, not only is the Leicester youngster a hugely adept winger who has the potential to go far in the game, he appears to be a winger in a similar mould to Sterling and Sane, both of whom have been brilliant for City in the last 12 months or so.
As such, City are right to end their interest in Mahrez, and now should instead focus their efforts on luring £13.5 million-rated Gray (as per Transfermarkt) to the Etihad Stadium.
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