Manchester City’s Nicolas Otamendi has had to settle for a lesser role this season.
Having been a vital component of City’s Centurions of last season, Otamendi would understandably be frustrated not to be able to build on his best season in England in the way he would have liked.
Due to injuries and differing form of City’s other centre-backs last year, it was the Argentine that remained ever-present throughout the campaign.
However, given Aymeric Laporte and John Stones’ partnership together in the backline and Vincent Kompany’s involvement when fit, Otamendi has been unable to truly come in between that and has suffered less game time as a result, starting just eight Premier League games this season.
Pep Guardiola told the media in his press conference ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg what the 30-year-old is thinking: “He’s not happy. When he plays he’s happy, when he doesn’t play he’s not happy, but not just Otamendi, everybody.”
The Sun have reported that Otamendi is wanted by Barcelona in a shock move for the Catalan giants who are set to be looking for defensive reinforcements.
In that case, let’s take a look at the potential consequences of the move…
Eric Garcia can be given a greater role
Garcia has worked his way into Guardiola’s thinking as a result of his calm, assured and composed performances during their pre-season tour of the United States.
The 18-year-old has since made three starts in the Carabao Cup as a reward for his displays in training and games. If Otamendi is to go, Garcia can work towards and be provided more first-team appearances across all competitions with an even clearer pathway to Guardiola’s side.
A move for Matthijs de Ligt
Given Kompany’s injury record, if Otamendi was to go, City could move for another centre-back to help strengthen that role for years to come.
Dutch publication Voetbal International reports that City have identified De Ligt as their main defensive target for next summer and describe City as the “main bidder” for his signature.
If the move was to come off, the Blues would have one of the most impressive talents in world football on their hands and a stalwart at the back for years to come.
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