The Manchester City fans have been in buoyant mood in the Transfer Tavern since their side were crowned Premier League champions for the third time since 2012, but recent reports regarding the future of John Stones have rather dampened their spirits.
John Stones was heavily criticised during his debut season with the Citizens last season following a high-profile transfer from Everton, but his performances during the first-half of the season served to silence even his strongest critics. The errors which crippled his performances during his first season seemed to be firmly eradicated during the early stages of the campaign when he was a first-team regular, much to the delight of the resident Citizens faithful propping up our bar.
However, injury problems combined with strong competition for first-team places have turned Stones into something of a forgotten figure at the Etihad Stadium. The 23-year-old England international has made just 4 Premier League appearances since he was forced off the field with an injury against Leicester City in November 2017.
Stones’ lack of involvement in recent months has resulted in reports from The Sun which claim Guardiola is willing to allow him to leave the club this summer for the benefit of his career. Considering the level of improvement Stones demonstrated during the the early stages of the season, it would be a blow for City to lose him this summer, but if they ultimately make that decision then they should use him as a makeweight in a deal for Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich (valued at £49.5 million by Transfermarkt).
Guardiola already has two right-backs at his disposal in the shape of Kyle Walker and Danilo, but the latter has looked out of his depth in the Premier League this season despite his rich footballing history with the likes of Real Madrid and FC Porto. Therefore City would be wise to offload him this summer and sign Kimmich as a replacement if they wish to challenge for the quadruple next season.
The 23-year-old German international is arguably the best young right-back in world football right now. He is defensively solid and an excellent attacking outlet in the final-third with the physicality capability to meet the demands of Guardiola’s tasking footballing philosophy.
Kimmich has managed to provide 17 assists for his teammates from 41 appearances in all-competitions so far this season – a truly remarkable record considering his age and position. Selling Stones should certainly not be on City’s priority list this summer, but if the club ultimately decide to offload him they must do everything in their power to use him as a bargaining tool in a deal to secure Kimmich’s services.
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