Whilst the January 2019 Transfer Window nears its midway point, there has been limited transfer activity within the English Premier League. This is understandable for many reasons.
First, many of the top teams in Europe are preparing for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Moreover, these clubs are competing to win silverware within their domestic leagues.
Second, selling valuable players would see a disruption in team chemistry and could potentially hinder clubs and their abilities to win trophies by the end of the season.
Finally, given the window falls in the middle of the season, clubs have traditionally inflated the value of their players in order to compensate for their losses. This, in turn, means clubs are overspending on players that would be cheaper during the Summer Transfer Window.
With these points in mind, where will Manchester City look to strengthen their squad? According to a poll created by MCFCWatch, most City fans value central midfield as the most critical position that requires strengthening. The second preferred option is left back.
This should not come as a surprise. Fernandinho, City’s preferred holding midfielder, will turn 34 this May. An injury-prone İlkay Gündoğan and a failed John Stones experiment has led City fans to believe this is the most critical area where the Blues should invest.
City have struggled to find an appropriate replacement, however. During the Summer 2018 Transfer Window, targets Fred and Jourginho joined Manchester United and Chelsea, respectively, leaving the Blues empty handed. The recently sought after Frenkie De Jong is also rumoured to be joining Barcelona this summer. Other reports suggest the Blues are interested in Napoli midfielder Allan, who is rated at €100 million.
The other area, although of slightly lesser concern, is left back. Benjamin Mendy was acquired from AS Monaco during the Summer 2017 Transfer Window, yet a serious knee injury in September 2017 saw him out of contention for most of the season. Mendy aggravated his knee in November 2018, causing a similar situation to occur this season. Whilst Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko have made due in the Frenchman’s absence, there have been several occasions where they have been caught out of position. In Delph’s case, this has also led to two red cards and suspensions. Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell is rumoured to be sought after by City, although an official offer has yet to be placed.
Whilst these rumours have been inthe news, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has repeatedly stated the Blues will not acquire another player this winter. If this is the case, City will eventually have to address these issues.
Will the Blues make a surprise move and look to strengthen these two areas during the January 2019 Transfer Window?