It’s understandable that Manchester United fans will be upset that Manchester City have secured the transfer of highly rated England midfielder Kalvin Phillips from Leeds United. The 26-year-old was severally linked with a move to the red side of Manchester. But reports quickly emerged that he was more interested in securing a move to the Blue side as a result of the rivalry between the former and his boyhood club.
City moved quickly to secure the deal, and the Leeds-born player is now headed for the Etihad Stadium. As it stands, the club is making swift progress on its plans for the summer.
After securing the services of the highly-rated and equally coveted Erling Haaland, the Blues’ hierarchy has secured another important player that will fill the vacuum in midfield, created as a result of the departure of Fernandinho. The City legend bowed out at the end of last season after almost a decade of fruitful service to the club.
City had three key positions to fill this summer in order to freshen the squad and plug any loopholes in the team. After making attempts to replace Sergio Aguero with Harry Kane last term to no avail, the club decided to go one better by signing Haaland.
With Fernandinho now also set to be ably replaced, the only area of concern remains the left-back position. For that, the club has been strongly linked with Brighton’s Marc Cucurella. If the Spaniard or any other top player is secured for the position in the coming weeks, that will signify a near-perfect or perfect summer for the Citizens.
Perfect in the sense that, despite having one of the best teams in the land, the club has moved quickly to plug any remaining loopholes in the team and strengthen further. Even more impressive is the manner in which the transfers are being made. The signings are made without much fuss, while players that suit the team’s philosophy and will fit into the system very well are brought in.
At a time when rivals like Manchester United and Chelsea are both struggling in the transfer window, City are seemingly on a roller coaster. Liverpool may have acquired the services of Darwin Nunez as if to counter City’s signing of Haaland, but they have lost a key player in Sadio Mane, who chose to jump ship to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.
Although Jurgen Klopp has been making signings in recent times to bolster his forward line, as if in anticipation of such an occurrence, suffice to say that none of the current players offers quite what Mane brouht to the team. So based on that, the Reds will definitely miss the Senegalese star.
But that is not the same with City, who are adding two top quality players in Haaland and Julian Alvarez up front. With these two top-class players coming in, the departure of Gabriel Jesus will not be felt as much come next season.
Although the likes of Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva have also been linked with a move away from the club, it is almost certain that if the two players were to leave, City will find suitable replacements.
Sterling looks the most likely of the two to depart this summer, but that won’t be a huge loss. His performances in the last couple of seasons have largely been below expectations, leading to a reduction in playing time from the manager. That shows just how dispensable he has become in the team.
The England international has not been at his best in recent campaigns. He has failed to replicate the form which led to rumours of interest from Real Madrid some years back. The frustration of not featuring as prominently in the manager’s plans led to a public expression last winter of his desire to leave the club in search of playing time.
Based on the foregoing, he’s a player City will be ready to move on at the right price, especially with a year left on his deal.
With Phillips sent to shore up the midfield while Haaland and Alvarez strengthen the attack, only the signing of a left back remains to complete a perfect summer. Of course, that’s assuming Bernardo Silva stays.