Manchester City are aiming to become the first side since 2009 to retain the Premier League title.
The Citizens cruised to their fifth Premier League crown last season and also picked up the Carabao Cup in Pep Guardiola’s second season in England. Following their sensational performances, they have been rightly installed as favourites to lift the trophy again. They kick off their 2018/19 campaign with a tricky trip to North London against Arsenal.
Guardiola has made just one major signing this summer – the £60m capture of Riyad Mahrez from Leicester. With only one day remaining in the window, the ex-Barcelona boss is desperate to sign a defensive midfielder. City were expected to sign Jorginho from Napoli, but the Italian instead joined Chelsea.
To add competition for Fernandinho, City should attempt to sign Lyon lynchpin – Lucas Tousart. Valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt, the Frenchman has emerged as one of the brightest talents in France after establishing himself as a first-team regular. He made 37 appearances in Ligue 1 as Lyon finished third to secure Champions League football.
The former Valenciennes man would slot seamlessly into the City midfield and add some much-needed protection for the backline. He made 2.9 tackles per game last season from defensive midfield – more than any other Manchester City player. The 21-year-old reads the game excellently and made 1.9 interceptions per game in the previous campaign – again, more than any other Manchester City player (WhoScored).
Tousart boasts a pass success rate of 85% which he will need to work on to fit into Guardiola’s system. However, the France U21 international is still young and would no doubt improve under the Spaniard’s tutelage.
Lyon will not want to lose their prized asset, but president Jean-Michel Aulas could be tempted into a deal if the price is right. Time is running out, and City must get this one over the line.
Manchester City fans, thoughts?