The Manchester City fans in the Transfer Tavern have been delighted by the performances of their side during a mesmerising campaign for the club, but they are refusing to rest on their laurels as the transfer window approaches.
Pep Guardiola’s city slickers have captured the imagination of supporters from inside and outside the club this season with their ominous ability to dominate proceedings and make their opponents look distinctly average. The performances of Kevin De Bruyne in midfield have been central to their success in this regard, as his ability to influence the game at both ends of the pitch has consistently come to the fore.
Fernandinho has largely been handed the responsibility of anchoring City’s midfield whilst the likes of De Bruyne, Gundogan and David Silva have roamed forward in search of attacking opportunities, but that could be all set to change next season. The fact that Fernandinho is 32-years-old will certainly be playing on Guardiola’s mind, despite the fact the Brazilian is showing no sign of reaching his expiry date at this moment in time.
However, it’s likely that City will dip into the transfer market for a new central midfielder this summer to supplement their options in this position. The likes of Jorginho and Fred have been linked with a move to the Etihad on more than one occasion since the turn of the year, but the club would be wise to move for Roma’s Radja Nainggolan (valued at £40.5 million by Transfermarkt) instead this summer.
The Belgian international has long been linked with a move to the Premier League, and after 4 years with Roma he might just be tempted into embarking on a new challenge this summer. If that is indeed the case, then City should do everything in their power to lure him to the Etihad, as his presence alongside his fellow compatriot Kevin De Bruyne would significantly bolster the quality of their midfield next season.
Nainggolan is a player who is equally as comfortable in an advanced or defensive midfield role, so he could either fill-in for Fernandinho in the anchor role or operate further forward next to De Bruyne next season. Alongside the baby-faced Belgian, Nainggolan’s creative qualities and tenacious work-rate would enable City to continue their imperious dominance in midfield which is so pivotal to their success.
Nainggolan and De Bruyne have the potential to form one of, if not the most formidable midfield partnership in European football, so City should certainly be making an enquiry for his services when the window re-opens this summer
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