Manchester City supporters in the Transfer Tavern are already relishing the 2018/19 season, what with their side the undisputed dominant force of English football after a remarkable campaign this time round.
Pep Guardiola’s men won the Premier League at a canter this term in accumulating 100 points from their 38 league games, eventually finishing a staggering 19 points clear of nearest rivals Manchester United. And with victory in the Carabao Cup as well, it’s clear that the Citizens will again be the team to beat in the English top-flight next time round, which is why they will likely seek to improve the squad even further to maintain their place at the summit.
And one man who could be on his way to the club is £45 million-rated ace Riyad Mahrez (as per Transfermarkt), with recent reports suggesting that a deal for the Leicester City forward is close to completion.
And were the Citizens to indeed get a deal done for the Algeria international, it would surely spell bad news for current City forward Bernardo Silva.
Ultimately, when one takes a look at the statistics from this season, one will see that the Portugal international made more appearances than any other City player in 2017/18, having appeared in 53 matches for Guardiola’s side.
However, just 28 of those were starts, and with only 15 starts in the Premier League, it’s clear that the 23-year-old is not a first team regular at the Etihad Stadium, and is instead an important member of Guardiola’s squad at the North West outfit.
But with the Portuguese star already behind the likes of Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling, his place in the pecking order is only likely to worsen were fellow winger Mahrez, winner of the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award two years ago, to join the Premier League champions.
Yes, rotation will again likely be key to City’s hopes of defending their league title alongside success in the Champions League next time round, but Silva is highly unlikely to command regular football ahead of messrs Sane and Sterling, let alone if Mahrez also joins the club.
The Algerian star has proven to be one of the best players outside of the Premier League’s top six in recent times, not least in their title-winning campaign of 2015/16, and as such has the top-flight pedigree that Silva has yet to develop in his 12-month stint at City – ultimately, Mahrez appears to be an upgrade on the Portugal international.
As such, while a move for Mahrez would likely be well received by City fans up and down the country, it would surely spell bad news for Silva and his hopes of breaking into Guardiola’s first team next season.
Man City fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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