Manchester City have had a disappointing start to the season to say the least, and some of that has been down to bad luck on the injury front, but some of it has been all their own doing. Failure to invest well enough in defensive options in the summer has left them more than 10 points behind Liverpool in the title race.
They should have brought in a centre-back in the summer, should have bought yet another left-back and, on the other side, Joao Cancelo has looked like nothing more than a cover player.
Ultimately, that is where City should be looking to strengthen in January.
Finally replace Vincent Kompany
Aside from the obvious captaincy traits he possessed, Vincent Kompany could always be relied on when he was fit. He made 17 appearances in the Premier League last season and oozed confidence to make the likes of even Nicolas Otamendi look stable at the back.
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“Kompany, for me, was still their best defender when he was fit,” Liverpool legend Graeme Souness told Virgin Media Sport when speaking about the Belgian’s exit earlier in the season (via Manchester Evening News).
But he’s now gone and Aymeric Laporte has been injured since the start of September, proving just how misguided it was to not bring in another centre-back in the summer. They hadn’t kept a clean sheet in 10 games in all competitions before the victory over Arsenal last week. That must change, and a new signing would increase the likelihood of that happening.
Invest heavily in full-backs (again)
Since Pep Guardiola released four of his full-backs after his first season, City have spent over £150 million on Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Joao Cancelo. None of them have been rated over 7/10 on average on WhoScored for their contributions this season, and that’s because they’ve simply not been good enough.
It’s time for City to cut their losses with regards to the injury-prone Mendy and bring in a world-class replacement rather than stick with the inexperienced 22-year-old Angelino. Down the right, Cancelo is being targeted by a number of European clubs including Bayern Munich, according to reports, so there could be need for a back-up there too.
Pep Guardiola has said there won’t be any incomings in January, but whether supporters should believe that remains to be seen. It will be clear to him that his back four just isn’t good enough and can’t handle not having Aymeric Laporte in the middle. To save their season, they need to make moves in January.
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