The Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern were disappointed that their side were out of action last weekend due to their premature exit from the FA Cup at the last-sixteen stage, so they instead turned their attention towards potential summer signings to pursue.
Manchester City’s form this season has been frighteningly imperious both domestically and in Europe, but that has not prevented the supporters from discussing ways in which they can continue to improve during the next transfer window. Throughout the majority of the season so far, City have been linked with a transfer for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazillian midfielder Fred, although no official bid has been publicly disclosed as of yet.
According to The Daily Star, Manchester United have now surpassed City in the race to secure his services at the end of the season, and considering the quality of Fabian Delph’s form for The Citizens this season, that can only be positive news for the club. City’s interest in Fred stems from the fact that Guardiola will need to replace the ageing Fernandinho in the years to come, but the presence of Delph (valued at £9 million by Transfermarkt) should convince him to bide his time before committing to a deal for Fred.
So far this season, Fernandinho has proven that he still has the physical capacity to perform the highly-demanding role that he is consistently deployed in by his manager. That fact alone suggests that the club should be in no hurry to secure a long-term replacement for the 32-year-old just yet, as he should be able to continue performing at his current level for one more season at the very least.
For the vast majority of the season so far, Fernandinho has had very little opportunity to rest due to the injury obtained by Benjamin Mendy which has forced Delph to deputise at left-back since September, but following Mendy’s return that could be all set to change. The French international’s return to full-fitness should allow Delph to return to his natural position in central-midfield, and considering how well he has performed this season, he more than merits an opportunity to prove himself in the anchor role next season.
Guardiola will need to strengthen his side this summer, but he needs to be wary of upsetting the balance of his squad and forcing any of his players away from the club. Delph has proven that he can be of immense value at left-back, and his versatility will prove to be a great asset for the club in the seasons to come, providing they can keep hold of him.
The England international has demonstrated an exemplary attitude this season whilst playing out of position, so Guardiola must repay him by abandoning his pursuit of Fred and entrusting him to match the standard of performance set by Fernandinho during the next campaign.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!