What Does Manchester City Need to Do During the 2020 Summer Transfer Window?

By Ben Morris in Soccer
| April 21, 2020 1:57 pm PDT
What Does Manchester City Need to Do During the Summer Transfer Window?

Manchester City’s riches have enabled them to become a dominant force in the transfer market over the past decade. Ever since Sheikh Mansour bought the club in 2008, City has been able to sign the world’s top players.

However, for all of Man City’s wealth, their squad is in need of a revamp. Pep Guardiola’s side has been below par by their own high standards this season, leaving Liverpool to create an unassailable lead at the top of the Premier League table.

England’s 2020 summer transfer window was scheduled to be open from June 10 to September 1. But given the unprecedented circumstances, FIFA is set to revise those dates in due course.

Nevertheless, with the current break in the campaign, it feels like the ideal time to assess what City needs to do during the summer transfer window.

In this post, I share my views on which players Man City should sell and sign during the summer transfer window, along with discussing the future of Leroy Sane.

Let’s start by looking at who I believe the Cityzens should sell.

Which Players Does Manchester City Need to Get Rid of?

Man City’s defensive problems have been clear for all to see this season. Here are three players who I think Guardiola should get rid of.

Nicolas Otamendi

You would think that a player with 70 Argentina caps under his belt would be pretty reliable, right? Well, think again.

When long-standing leader Vincent Kompany left the club at the end of last season, Aymeric Laporte was viewed as the new chief of Man City’s backline. But when Laporte was ruled out for the majority of the campaign through injury, Nicolas Otamendi was left to hold the fort.

Unfortunately for City, Otamendi has struggled to keep up with the pace of the Premier League. The veteran center-back has been humiliated by opposition forwards on countless occasions, and it’s clear that he’s no longer good enough to play at the highest level.

Since arriving in England, Otamendi has won two EPL titles and five domestic cups in just under five years. The Argentine has enjoyed a hugely successful spell with the Cityzens, but his performances have gone severely downhill recently.

Laporte’s return, coupled with one or two defensive additions during the summer transfer window, means Otamendi should be free to leave the club at the end of the season.

Benjamin Mendy

Benjamin Mendy joined Man City in 2017 following an eye-catching breakthrough campaign with Monaco. The Frenchman was tipped to become one of the best left-backs of his generation, but that hasn’t happened.

A number of lengthy injuries have restricted Mendy to just 31 top-flight appearances in three seasons, and he’s failed to fulfill his potential for Man City.

Even when Mendy has been available for selection, he’s looked rusty. It’s clearly been difficult for him to reintegrate back into the team after spending so long on the sidelines.

It’s a tricky situation, but I believe City should look to offload the 25-year-old in the summer. Of course, it isn’t Mendy’s fault. But how long can a club wait for a player to stay fit? And what happens if the problems persist?

The Cityzens forked out just over £50 million to sign the World Cup winner. However, now that Mendy has gained a reputation for being injury-prone, there’s no way the club will be able to recuperate that money.

In my opinion, Man City should cut their losses and get rid of Mendy at the next available opportunity.

Kyle Walker

Over the course of the current campaign, Kyle Walker has done very little to prove to his manager that he deserves a place in the starting eleven.

The former England right-back — who has been frozen out by national boss Gareth Southgate — appears to be past his best. He may only be 29, but his recent displays have been nowhere near the level Guardiola requires.

Sure, Walker is still lightning quick. But he can’t solely rely on his pace. The ex-Tottenham man has looked shaky in possession of late, while his defensive awareness has been poor.

Man City spent almost £60 million to bring in Joao Cancelo from Juventus last year. The Portuguese can operate in either full-back position and has shown that he’s more than capable of replacing Walker.

Furthermore, there will be two highly rated young right-backs arriving at the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season. Brazilian Yan Couto and Spaniard Pedro Porro will both be looking to break into the first team, so Walker could find himself surplus to requirements.

It makes sense for City to cash in on Walker in the summer and make way for the new generation.

Who Should Manchester City Look to Sign in the Summer?

Here are four players who I believe would strengthen Man City’s squad.

Milan Skriniar

There’s no question that Man City needs to add at least one world-class center-back to their ranks. Kompany’s departure and injuries to key defenders have left Guardiola’s side perilously short on numbers at the back.

Milan Skriniar has steadily established himself among Europe’s defenders. The Inter Milan center-back has starred in Serie A over the past few years and is now one of the most sought-after defensive properties in the game.

The former Sampdoria man became the most expensive Slovakian player of all time when he joined Inter in 2017. Having made over 100 appearances for the Nerazzurri since then, Skriniar is now ready for his big move.

I believe the 25-year-old would fit in perfectly at City. Guardiola requires ball-playing center-backs who are comfortable in possession, and Skriniar ticks all the right boxes.

Having previously plied his trade in midfield, Skriniar has got a bit of everything. His assertive presence means he can dominate both on the ground and aerially, while his reading of the game is excellent.

Inter is likely to demand in excess of £50 million for Skriniar, but the Cityzens must be prepared to spend big in order to recruit the players they need.

Caglar Soyuncu

If Man City decides to target two new center-backs in the summer, then Caglar Soyuncu is another solid option.

There is a distinct lack of top-class central defenders in the Premier League at the moment, but Soyuncu has been immense this season. Not only has he replaced Harry Maguire in Leicester’s backline, but he’s arguably improved Brendan Rodgers’ side.

The Turkey international is one of the quickest center-backs around, while his giant leap means he is superb in the air. He is also very composed on the ball, so he’d be able to adapt to City’s style of play without any problems.

At just 23, Soyuncu is far from the finished article. Yes, he is already a special talent. But he has the potential to get even better.

I think Soyuncu would be an excellent investment for Man City. He would no doubt come in and make an immediate impact, and he could become a mainstay in the team for years to come.

Nicolas Tagliafico

Ajax’s outstanding 2018/19 squad is gradually getting pulled apart. Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong left for Juventus and Barcelona respectively last summer, while Hakim Ziyech will join Chelsea next term.

Despite last season’s Champions League heartbreak, Argentine left-back Nicolas Tagliafico remained with the Amsterdam outfit. But following another standout campaign, he could soon be on the move.

With Mendy spending more time on the treatment table than on the pitch, Man City desperately needs to sign a reliable left-back. And in my eyes, Tagliafico is the perfect man for the job.

The adventurous full-back has contributed five goals and seven assists from defense this season, and his willingness to get forward would definitely benefit Guardiola’s side.

However, Tagliafico isn’t just a threat in attack. No player made more tackles than the Ajax star in this season’s Champions League group stage, and this statistic shows that he never shies away from his defensive duties.

Tagliafico is one of the most complete left-backs in world soccer, so I think City would be foolish not to make an approach for him when the transfer window opens.

Lautaro Martinez

It’s looking increasingly likely that Inter Milan will lose Lautaro Martinez at the end of the season. The 22-year-old forward has been in red-hot form throughout 2019/20, subsequently attracting interest from many of Europe’s major clubs.

It’s no secret that Man City’s squad is already packed with exciting attacking players. Still, with an abundance of wingers at the club, I think City would benefit from the addition of another central forward.

Indeed, Sergio Aguero is still hitting the back of the net at a frightening rate, while backup striker Gabriel Jesus is gradually being given more opportunities. But if City wants to challenge for the Premier League title next term, adding another striker would certainly improve their chances.

Signing Martinez wouldn’t exactly be a risky move. The Argentine has bagged 16 goals and four assists this season, including five goals in six UCL appearances.

Man City would probably have to part ways with at least £50 million to acquire Martinez’s services. But in my opinion, it would be money well spent.

Should Man City Keep Leroy Sane or Let Him Go?

There have been numerous reports suggesting that Leroy Sane could be on his way out of the Etihad Stadium, with Bayern Munich rumored to be keen on luring the German winger back to his homeland.

Sane has missed the entirety of the current campaign after suffering knee ligament damage in the Community Sheild back in August and only recently returned to training before the season was unexpectedly halted.

However, with just one year left on his contract, the club is yet to offer him a new deal, and he may be allowed to leave in the summer for a reduced fee.

There are arguments for selling Sane. But in my view, I believe Man City should tie him down to a new long-term deal and make the most of his talents.

Prior to his injury, the speedy forward was a key player for Guardiola’s side, helping City to achieve back-to-back Premier League triumphs with his dazzling trickery and unstoppable pace.

In 2017/18, Sane registered 14 goals and 19 assists before notching up 16 goals and 18 assists in the previous campaign. This is a remarkable return for a wide player, so I think it’s vital that City keeps hold of him.

It’s easy to forget about a player who’s been sidelined for so long. After all, a year is a long time in soccer, and a lot can change during that time.

But if Sane can return to full fitness and reach the level he was at before his injury, there’s no doubt that he’ll be worth keeping.

The Verdict

Following consecutive EPL titles, Man City has been miles off the pace this season. So, it’s imperative that City is active during the upcoming transfer window in order to keep up with Liverpool next term.

It’s pretty obvious that Guardiola needs to sort out his backline. Goalkeeper Ederson isn’t the problem, but I think there needs to be a number of defensive changes in the summer.

Most importantly, City must bring in at least one top-class center-back. The team has struggled to cope without Kompany, and the injury to Laporte has left them exposed.

Getting rid of the aging Otamendi would free up space in the squad, while promising youngster Eric Garcia can be used as backup. This would allow the club to sign one or two defenders, and I believe Skriniar should be their top priority.

The full-back positions also need addressing. Oleksandr Zinchenko has deputized at left-back when called upon, but I’m not sure that he’s good enough to nail down a place in the starting eleven. Selling Mendy and signing Tagliafico would be the ideal scenario here.

As for the right-back spot, Walker is over the hill, so cashing in on him in the summer wouldn’t be a bad idea. Cancelo can then step up and occupy the right-back role, leaving Couto and Porro to battle it out for the backup position.

Man City boasts one of the strongest midfields in Europe, so it would be stupid to disrupt that anytime soon. Stalwart David Silva is leaving the club at the end of the season, but Phil Foden is expected to fill the void left by the Spaniard.

Finally, I think adding another striker would be a wise move. Inter’s Martinez fits the bill perfectly, but there will be plenty of other attacking options available come the end of the season.

If you’ve got your own ideas who Man City should sell and sign during the summer transfer window, why not leave a comment with your suggestions?

You can also check out more content like this over at our soccer blog.

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