Manchester City supporters have been making a lot of noise in the Transfer Tavern so far this season such has been their team’s wonderful start to the campaign, which sees the North West outfit eight points clear at the top of the Premier League after only 15 games.
Pep Guardiola’s men were tipped by many to go on and win the title this term, and they are certainly living up to expectations having won 14 of their opening 15 league matches, although things have been significantly tougher recently. The Citizens needed Raheem Sterling winners to see off both Huddersfield Town and Southampton last week, before West Ham caused them serious problems at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday by taking a first half lead through Angelo Ogbonna, only for goals from Nicolas Otamendi and David Silva to seal a 13th successive Premier League victory for Guardiola’s side, and thus maintain their eight-point lead at the summit.
Consequently, there have been many delighted City fans in the Tavern this week, many of whom are daring to dream about what their team could go on to achieve this season, both on the domestic front and the European stage.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Citizens supporters to discuss, not least recent reports suggesting that summer signing Danilo could be looking for a January exit from the club given his lack of first team football.
The 26-year-old made the move to the Etihad during the close season after two years at European champions Real Madrid, but the Brazil international has made just eight starts in all competitions for Guardiola’s side thus far, only half of which have come in the Premier League.
And as such the full-back is reportedly seeking a move away in January in a bid for regular football, which is a move the £16.2 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) must strive to make, as his future prospects at City aren’t looking great.
Ultimately, Danilo was brought in as more of a back-up full-back than a first team one over the summer, what with City splashing out mega money on right-back Kyle Walker from Tottenham, and left-back Benjamin Mendy from Monaco.
Yet what must be of immense frustration to Danilo is that, not only did he start four of their opening six Premier League matches, and do reasonably well, he hasn’t had much of a chance since Mendy suffered a cruciate ligament injury in his knee against Crystal Palace back in September.
And that’s because midfielder Fabian Delph has shown his aptitude at playing full-back in recent weeks, starting eight of their last nine league games at left-back, as well as moving to that position at half time on Sunday as Danilo’s struggles in that position saw him axed at the break.
And that is probably the clearest indication yet that the 26-year-old could be seriously struggling for minutes under Guardiola this season.
The former Real Madrid man hasn’t done enough in recent times to convince the Spaniard that he is more reliable and accomplished option than Delph at left-back, while he isn’t going to get the better of Walker down the other flank either.
And when a midfielder commands a spot over a natural full-back, even if Danilo isn’t by trade a left-back, that natural full-back will know that he has got a problem.
And with a World Cup coming up at the end of the season, the 26-year-old will be well aware that he needs minutes on the pitch to force his way into a fiercely competitive Brazil squad, and that is simply not going to happen at the Etihad Stadium.
Thus, leaving City in January appears to be the only option for the defender.
Man City fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!