Obviously, Manchester City really were thoroughly impressive this season, weren’t they? Yes, they again failed to win the Champions League but they were utterly dominant domestically. History-making stuff, in fact. Indeed, they became the first team in the history of the Premier League to win the domestic treble and did so in emphatic fashion.
Yet, there’s one thing that one can guarantee – City will not rest on what they have. They will continue to spend and continue to improve. Just look at last season. They won the league and subsequently spent £60m on Riyad Mahrez (as per BBC Sport). So, what changes will they make this summer?
Well, a rumour that has started to circulate is the potential £50m incoming of Juventus right-back Joao Cancelo (as per The Sun). The Portuguese defender has only been at Juventus for one season, but impressed immensely during this period. He’s quick, attacking and can play both as a defender and a winger. The Sun state Guardiola believes Cancelo could provide genuine competition for a place in the starting eleven, with Danilo potentially on the way out.
But what does that mean for current starter Kyle Walker? Well, let’s have a look at the season just gone. Walker started 33 games, losing three and conceding 17 goals. Now, let’s be honest, these are hardly bad figures. Yet, he both scored and assisted just the one. While this won’t concern Guardiola, perhaps his tendency to make a damning mistake or two might.
Now, there’s no suggestion here that Walker isn’t up to the required standard, the opposite in fact. He must be regarded as one of the best right-backs in world football. But one can understand the interest in Cancelo. At 29-years-old, Walker is slowly becoming a senior member in the squad. With speed being the essential component to his game, something that will begin to decline in coming years, it does seem the right time to start bedding in his eventual replacement.
Analysing how Walker responded to competition from Kieran Trippier at Tottenham, it doesn’t look too good. Similarly to Guardiola’s sides, Pochettino placed a lot of importance on full-backs and regularly rotated his options.
It’s well documented that Walker and Pochettino fell out (per the Independent at the time) over fitness concerns and the rotation policy. While Walker will indeed be confident in his position at the club, a £50m incoming may just be a concern for the England international who arguably wasn’t at his best this season.
City fans, should Walker be the first choice right-back next season? Or would you like to see Cancelo come in and compete for a place? Comment below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!