According to a recent report from The Daily Mirror, Manchester City are eyeing up a move for Leicester City defender Ben Chilwell. The 21-year-old has come up through the ranks at the Midlands outfit to become a regular first teamer under Claude Puel, at the same time featuring regularly for England in the last few months.
And reports suggest that Pep Guardiola’s City are eyeing up a move for the left back, and while the Citizens are in need of reinforcements in that area of the pitch, the more pressing concern should be a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, of which Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi appears to be the perfect option.
Ultimately, the recent injury to Benjamin Mendy is another to add to the defender’s lengthy list since making the move to the Etihad Stadium last summer, with the 24-year-old only actually featuring 16 times in the Premier League for Guardiola’s side in the last 18 months.
Yes, when he does play he often makes a telling difference, having laid on six assists in those 16 matches, but he simply isn’t proving to be trustworthy enough to call upon reliably over the course of a campaign – thus, moving for Chilwell makes a lot of sense.
Yet the Citizens have managed fine without the France international over the last year-and-a-half using the likes of Aymeric Laporte, Fabian Delph, and Oleksandr Zinchenko at left back, but things haven’t quite been as straight-forward replacing Fernandinho in the heart of their midfield.
The 33-year-old is the unsung hero of a City side praised for their attacking prowess under Guardiola, with the Brazil international able to provide the transition between defence and attack, at the same time excelling off the ball in breaking play up and helping the Citizens dominate the middle of the park.
But at the age of 33, he hasn’t got much time left at the top level, and with no Fernandinho-like player currently in that City squad at present, someone like Leicester’s Ndidi could prove to be the 33-year-old’s heir.
The Foxes midfielder made the move to the King Power Stadium back in January 2017 as the Midlands club sought to replace N’Golo Kante, and the 21-year-old has proven to be quite the coup given he has impressed greatly in the heart of the Leicester midfield.
The Nigeria international already has 78 first team appearances to his name in little under two years to underline his significance to the Foxes squad, with appearances in all 16 Premier League games this term emphasising his high level of consistency, and indeed how integral he is to manager Puel.
And with ability on the ball in possession and when picking a pass, but also off it in screening the backline and breaking play up with tackles and interceptions, he appears to be exactly what City need after Fernandinho – and at the tender age of 21, he is only likely to improve under the guidance of Guardiola.
Yes, moving for Chilwell makes a great deal of sense given Mendy’s injury issues, but a more pressing matter is the long-term replacement for Fernandinho, which is why City should forget the left back and indeed seek to land his Leicester teammate Ndidi.
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