After doing some brisk business early in the transfer window, it is unclear if Manchester City will make any more signings before the window closes. City have given and taken so far in the window. But the departure of several key players has made it necessary to add more ammunition to the team to prevent any weakening of the side.
The likes of Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling have all left the club with midfielder-turned left-back, Oleksandr Zinchenko, set to follow. The former three have all been well replaced, except for left-back Zinchenko.
City have had Joao Cancelo mostly occupying the position in the absence of a natural left-back in the team. The Portuguese has excelled on the job, but that has not eliminated the need for a natural left-back in the position.
Pep Guardiola was asked after the Club America friendly whether there will be any more incomings before the window shuts. But the City boss appeared to be unsure of whether there will be any more new signings.
“The club decide what they have to do - and I follow the club. The club decides the signings. We miss an important player in the locker room with Aleks, really really important. We are trying but it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen,” said Guardiola.
“If it doesn’t happen we have alternatives with Joao Cancelo. Josh is a young young talent and Nathan Ake can play there. We will see what happens. We cannot forget Josh [Wilson-Esbrand].”
Although he stated that the club is trying, talking up the options available to fill in the gap, suggests the Catalan manager is ready to move on without a replacement for the versatile Ukrainian.
With rival clubs busy in the transfer market stocking up on players, City will need to be at the top of their game in the market. Clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and even Antonio Conte’s Tottenham are heading into the new season with one aim in mind; to knock City off their perch.
So the executives at the Etihad Stadium will need to do everything necessary to strengthen every weakened position. That is necessary to ensure the team stays at the top.
The club has been linked with Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella in the past few weeks. Getting a deal done for the Spaniard will do the team a world of good.
He will be a good fit for Guardiola’s system and should hit the ground running from the beginning of the season, having acquainted himself with the Premier League last term.
The player himself wants the move and Brighton have not shown any signs of wanting to play hardball. The club's chairman has even come out to state that City have not made any formal bid for the player yet. So far, his body language suggests he won’t stand in the way of the player trading the AMEX for the Etihad Stadium.
Suffice to say that with the competition getting tougher, relying on young players like Josh Wilson-Esbrand, who is yet to be tested at the highest level, can weaken the team. That, especially when some key players get injured in the course of the campaign as it usually happens during the season.
So the best option will be for City to do everything necessary to strike a deal for a top-class left-back in order to shore up the defence.