Manchester City’s report card for 2020 reads: “More effort needs to be done”.
Aside from winning the Carabao Cup, the Citizens have had a disappointing year. They ceded the Premier League title with a whimper before blowing their best chance of reaching a Champions League final, losing to little Lyon in the quarter-finals.
The rot has also continued into the current season, with Pep Guardiola’s side currently trailing leaders Liverpool by some distance.
2021 must be a better year and it all starts with the January transfer window. Here are five moves City are expected to make next month.
He may be 35 and 36 in May, but Fernandinho is still a world-class operator.
The truth is, City are still somewhat dependent on the timeless Brazilian, which makes it a chilling prospect for him to be free to discuss pre-contractual deals with foreign clubs in January.
Guardiola has already indicated that he wants Fernandinho to stick around and now is the time to put his words into action.
Who knows, maybe he even has of them seasons left in the tank?
An indescribably talented player Kevin De Bruyne should never have more than two and a half years on his contract.
Even with City looking oddly toothless on offense this season, De Bruyne still leads the Premier League in creating actions by 90 minutes at the time of writing.
To put it simply, he remains at the center of everything City does going forward.
To avoid the unlikely chances of the Belgian leaving for a drop price in a few years, City are expected to tie him to a long-term deal in January.
As 90 mins As you told you earlier this month, the future of Oleksandr Zinchenko’s town is uncertain.
While the club don’t want to force him out, they are ready to listen to the Ukrainian’s offers with Southampton, Leicester and West Ham interested. Wolves – who tried to recruit him in 2018 – are also in the race.
As Guardiola has made it clear to back Benjamin Mendy against Zinchenko for some reason, City should look to move the latter forward as quickly as possible.
They can hardly afford distractions off the pitch as they look to get closer to the top of the Premier League table.
It has been some time since City signed a real statement.
They have a great opportunity to change that in January by kicking their rivals out of the water and bringing in bona fide star Jack Grealish. In recent seasons, Grealish has proven himself to be an elite level operator and he would fit in well at the Etihad stadium.
Manchester United and Liverpool are also believed to be part of the England international and despite Aston Villa’s whopping £ 100million price tag he could be exactly the player City need to get them out of their slump.
While Sergio Aguero is still recovering from injury, the burden of leading the line for City has fallen on Gabriel Jesus this season.
Many doubt that he is up to the task of replacing the club’s best striker for good. Despite being an effective presser, Jesus underperformed his 3.7 xG last season, which suggests he may not be clinical enough to step into the Argentinian’s shoes.
With Aguero likely to leave this summer when his contract expires, a new striker is essential – even if he doesn’t have to replace the Brazilian directly.
Bringing in someone who has the potential to lead the line for years seems logical, especially with the rebuilding of the city. Whether they can sign someone like that in January is another matter.
However, can we just as well start negotiations with Borussia Dortmund on the arrival of Erling Haaland, right?