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The three positions Manchester City must strengthen

Wednesday 28th June 2017
Of all the teams in the top four of the Premier League, Manchester City are the ones most in need of reinforcements. For Chelsea and Tottenham, it is now a case of fine tuning their side and adding to their squad. Liverpool is in desperate need of 20+ goals a season striker and a new goalkeeper. City needs a lot more.

Pep Guardiola's revolution in Manchester hit a roadblock during the 2016/17 campaign and saw the side knocked out of all competitions fairly early. However, they importantly secured third place in the league and a Champions League spot which makes luring the best players to the Etihad far more viable.

Guardiola has already brought in Ederson Moraes in goal to provide an alternative to the Claudio Bravo who struggled so much last season.

Away from their goalkeeping problems, what three areas must City improve upon?

Centre-back



Injuries to Vincent Kompany massively hampered the captain's season while the likes of Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones have been poor this campaign.

The huge amount of money splashed out on Stones meant that there was always going to be a huge amount of pressure and expectation on the young defender. Both domestically and abroad he found his duties difficult and was at fault for more than one goal this term.

Otamendi is a good defender but he is very rash. Where he has a solid game with his distribution and defending, he can implode on himself with one questionable challenge or a rush of blood to he head when he goes marauding forward, leaving gaps behind him.

Perhaps the change to their own duties has caused some confusion and Guardiola's tactics may take some time to get used to. For Kompany though, his time may be up. He is a fine defender and one of the first names on the team sheet when fit, but his consistent injuries have robbed him of his place in the side. Unfortunately for the Belgian, solely because of his injuries, he just can't be trusted as a 38 games a season player anymore.

Centre-midfield



It is no secret that Yaya Toure is a fine player, but he is one that is definitely getting on. At 34-years-old he is a man that will not be at the top of his game for much longer, with some even claiming that he is already on the decline. The imperious midfielder has been a mainstay of the City midfield for years and it was always an odd sight to see the Citizens without the Ivorian in the middle picking up the ball and attacking at pace.

Under Guardiola though, Toure is the type of player that is slowly being fazed out. The manager wants midfielders that can do everything from defending to attacking, tracking back to stop attacks and getting forward with the best example of this being Fernandinho.

With Toure on the field, there is always a bulldozing presence on the pitch, but Guardiola is looking for a middle-man that can pass as well as he can run.

Striker



A very contentious one. Sergio Aguero has been one of City's best player for years. He has scored 122 goals for the Sky Blues including the most important one in their history as he netted the final goal in their 3-2 win over QPR in 2012 as they secured the title in dramatic fashion.

This season though he was not utilised as often as he would like and there were reports that he had fallen out of favour with the manager.

Of course, these are just reports and could be false. If they are true though, then City will need another top striker. Gabriel Jesus is very talented and he could grow into a truly world class talent, but he is not ready to have the pressure of playing 38 games and scoring over 20 goals a season on his shoulders yet.

If Guardiola does look to be rid of Aguero then he will need another top class striker to take his place, but they are few and far between and will cost a lot of money. In truth, the manager may be better off keeping the Argentine in the team as City cannot afford to wait another season for a new striker to bed into life in the Premier League.

In truth, City needs a number of new faces to challenge at the top, but Guardiola must look to bring in reinforcements at centre-back and centre-midfield in particular.
Ben Darvill

I graduated with an upper second class degree in English and Creative writing from Cardiff Metropolitan University. I have been a freelance sports writer since leaving University and have written for a number of online websites. I am a Chelsea and England fan but I enjoy watching any team play as I have an intense passion for football.


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