Manchester City kept pace with league leaders Liverpool thanks to a 5-0 thrashing away to Cardiff at the weekend.
Goals from Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan gave the Citizens an unassailable lead heading into the interval. Further punishment was inflicted after the break with Riyad Mahrez bagging a brace to complete the rout. The result leaves City second in the Premier League, two points behind Liverpool at the top of the table.
The addition of the Algerian was City’s only major signing during the transfer window, and the Etihad faithful will be glad to see the former Leicester man make an excellent start to his City career. Pep Guardiola is surely expected to enter the transfer market in January searching for a centre midfielder; a long-term replacement for Fernandinho is needed.
One man Guardiola could target is Stuttgart lynchpin – Santiago Ascacibar. Valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt, the Argentine has been a key player for the German side after joining from Estudiantes last summer. He made 29 appearances in the Bundesliga last season and notched one assist for his team-mates.
Ascacibar isn’t known for his creative output – it’s in defence where he excels. The 21-year-old is a fantastic tackler – averaging 3.1 per game in the Bundesliga last season – more than any other Manchester City player. He also reads the game expertly – averaging 1.6 interceptions per game – and would another layer of protection to City’s defence. His excellent showings have not gone unnoticed with Ascacibar earning a call-up to Argentina’s senior national team for the first time.
Under Guardiola, he could develop into a Premier League great.
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