So impressive have Manchester City been over the past two seasons, collecting 198 points over the 2017/18 and 2018/19 campaigns, it’s difficult to envisage how they could possibly improve this summer. But this is the task they must take on otherwise risk being leapfrogged by Liverpool, who are expected to strengthen again this summer, at the top of the English game.
The past week has seen the Premier League champions spring into action, with Rodri expected to make the move from Atletico Madrid to the Etihad Stadium in the coming days. Another rumour has seen City enter the race for Harry Maguire and now it seems likely that the Leicester City defender will indeed be Pep Guardiola’s latest signing.
Maguire has become a key member and a mainstay of the England team over the past two seasons, also impressing for Leicester in the Premier League. There is a sense that he is ready to take the next step in his career and a move to Manchester City would certainly represent progression.
But is Maguire really the player that Man City need at this time? Nicolas Otamendi is expected to leave the club this summer, with Guardiola keen to move the Argentinean on. Vincent Kompany has already departed the Etihad Stadium for Anderlecht and so there is a vacant spot in the Man City defence right now.
Maguire doesn’t appear to be a Guardiola type of player, though. The 26-year-old is an extremely solid centre back, possessing all the fundamental skills required for someone to succeed in that position, but he has some way to go before he can match the likes of Gerard Pique or Aymeric Laporte for playing out from the back.
Of course, some will argue, with good reason, that Maguire would be an upgrade on John Stones, with the 25-year-old’s capacity for making big mistakes in big games once again exposed in England’s defeat to Netherlands in the semi finals of the Nations League. But surely City can do better.
Surely the player they should be targeting this summer is Matthijs de Ligt, the Dutch teenager seemingly built to play for a Guardiola team. Of course, he is the most sought after defender in the European game right now, with almost every member of the continental elite vying for his signature, but if City want the best then he is who they should be going after.
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