Manchester City supporters have been in high spirits in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their Premier League title-winning side thump relegation-threatened Swansea City 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola’s men mathematically secured the title last weekend after second place Manchester United lost at home to West Brom, and the Citizens celebrated in style with another scintillating attacking display on Sunday. Goals from David Silva, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, and Gabriel Jesus sealed a comprehensive success for the North West outfit, thus moving them to 90 points and within five of the record set by Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in the 2004/05 season.
Thus, there have been many delighted and buoyant City fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping that their side can indeed go on and break many records this term to further underline their dominance of the Premier League.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Citizens supporters to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that their club could seek to offload defender John Stones this summer.
Yet manager Guardiola would be silly to sanction the £45 million-rated (as per Transfermarkt) star’s departure this summer, as there is no doubt that the 23-year-old is the future of this City backline.
Ultimately, it’s been a testing few months for the England international with no Premier League start since January, and a few niggling injury problems recently further restricting his involvement.
However, the centre back played a key part in establishing City’s dominance at the top of the division in the first half of the campaign, in which time he made big strides and improved greatly to highlight the impact Guardiola has had on his development.
Significantly though, the Citizens spent £47.5 million on the 23-year-old back in 2016, likely as a future investment just as much as a present one, which calls into question whether they would seriously consider getting rid of him just two years down the line.
Add in the fact that both Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany are the wrong side of 30, the latter still with injury and fitness concerns, and it is only a matter of time before Stones reclaims his place in the heart of Guardiola’s backline.
And alongside fellow 23-year-old Aymeric Laporte, the City boss already has his future centre back partnership – he’s surely not going to rip that up by allowing Stones to leave during the close season.
Yes, he may not be getting the gametime he desires at this point, but there’s little doubting that the 23-year-old has improved greatly under Guardiola and would benefit from further work under the Spaniard – he is destined to become a first-choice at City in the near future.
And having spent £47.5 million on him less than two years, Guardiola would be silly to consider sanctioning the Englishman’s departure this summer.
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