Manchester City will surely target a new central midfielder when the transfer window opens in a few months time.
Pep Guardiola must be desperate to find a long-term replacement for Fernandinho who is approaching the twilight of his career. The former Shakhtar Donetsk man has established himself as one of the most important players in the Spaniard’s system making him extremely difficult to replace. City did target Jorginho in the summer but the Italian chose to reunite with Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea after leaving Napoli.
After concluding their season, focus will return on sourcing a midfielder who can step into the Brazilian’s boots. City should have a large budget available after opting not to spend in the January transfer window. Guardiola would be wise to raid a fellow Premier League club to find his next enforcer in the engine room.
The ideal addition would be West Ham maestro – Declan Rice. Valued at £18m by Transfermarkt, the 20-year-old has developed into a crucial first-team player under Manuel Pellegrini after progressing through the club’s famed youth academy. His impressive performances have not gone unnoticed and England fans will be delighted to see him commit his international future to Gareth Southgate despite being eligible for Ireland. The former Chelsea youngster was also rewarded with a new contract at the London Stadium.
Former Irons man Leroy Rosenior told Love Sport Radio he believes Rice will ‘eventually’ play at as high a level as City and the Sun even touted him with a move before.
“I think he will eventually play at that level but he knows he’s 20 years old”, he said.
Rice offers a valuable layer of protection to the Hammers defence – similar to Fernandinho at City – averaging an impressive 2.8 tackles per game this season in the Premier League. The youngster also reads the game superbly, allowing him to make 1.8 interceptions per 90 minutes (WhoScored). Rice also displays a wonderful range of passing meaning he should have no issues adapting to Guardiola’s system at the Etihad Stadium.
Still developing and improving, Rice could become a City great under the former Barcelona boss’ tutelage.
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