As Guardiola faces up to the prospect of losing the German, who could join to revamp City’s front line?Embed from Getty Images
With Leroy Sané set to quit Manchester City at the end of this season, Pep Guardiola will be eager to bring in a replacement. The German has struggled to maintain his consistency in recent times due to persistent injuries. However, permanently losing the Bayern Munich target could damage City’s hopes of mounting a title challenge next season.
Youngsters such as Jayden Braaf and Morgan Rogers may make the step up from City’s youth sides. However, Guardiola will surely be keen to replace Sané with an established star.
Many have suggested Dortmund prodigy Jadon Sancho could return to the Etihad, but here are three alternative recommendations for the Citizens.
Ferrán Torres | 20 | Valencia | SpainEmbed from Getty Images
With Sterling, Mahrez and Bernardo Silva on his roster, Pep Guardiola could use this opportunity to nurture a young, prodigious talent with a view to making him a long-term regular starter.
The Valencian is a nimble and versatile attacker who usually plies his trade on the right wing but can deputise on the left, cutting inside to feed the striker or take on a shot himself. The 20-year-old has scored four goals this season, exceeding his xG (expected goals) of 3.2 in 2019/20.
Torres stands at 6ft, relatively tall for a winger and so would be more than capable of facing notoriously physical Premier League opposition. He also wins 1.1 aerial duels per game – yet another string to his bow.
Despite his youth, Torres was also crucial in Valencia’s Champions League run as they topped their group, beating Chelsea, Lille and Ajax in the process. He scored twice in the competition which saw Celades’ side knocked out by Atalanta in the Round of 16.
As a spritely, young and adaptable Spaniard, the Valencia star fits Manchester City’s criteria and would join a squad featuring countrymen Rodri, Eric Garcia and Adrián Bernabé.
According to TransferMarkt, Torres is valued at around £40.5m and, with his contract up next summer, the Citizens should pounce on a potential bargain.
Justin Kluivert | 21 | A.S. Roma | NetherlandsEmbed from Getty Images
This may seem a strange suggestion with some of Kluivert’s key numbers appearing to have trailed off somewhat this term.
However, the young Dutchman, son of the legendary Patrick, has all the signs of a player who could bounce back and realise his potential.
Justin Kluivert’s 83.4% pass accuracy trumps Torres’ – albeit in fewer minutes. He also makes almost two shots per game and, with the likes of Aguero, Jesus, Sterling and De Bruyne with him in attack, he may not need to hugely improve his shot accuracy to succeed in England.
Like Torres, he is rapid and agile but, unlike him, he is diminutive at just 5ft7. However, the Roma star’s ability to get out of tight situations in compact defences have seen him emerge as a major Arsenal target this summer too.
Additionally, he has scored three in Roma’s Europa League campaign. I Giallorossi escaped the group in second, beat Gent in the Round of 32 and were set to face Sevilla before coronavirus caused the postponement of the contest.
Kluivert was schooled at Ajax’s fruitful academy; a club closely linked with Guardiola’s former side Barcelona and so the winger will know exactly how to play in a high-pressing, entertaining Pep system.
If any manager can nudge Kluivert towards achieving his potential, it’s surely Pep.
Dominik Szoboszlai | 19 | Red Bull Salzburg | HungaryEmbed from Getty Images
Arguably the most unproven of this trio, Salzburg teen Dominik Szoboszlai could burgeon into a world-class winger at Manchester City.
The young Hungarian could be compared to a teenage Cristiano Ronaldo in a number of ways. He stands at a similar 6ft1 and his running style could be mistaken for the Portuguese star’s at a glance.
Usually playing on the left and cutting across to shoot or pass, Szoboszlai has also played in a more central role, meaning he could also make the loss of veteran David Silva slightly simpler to handle.
The teenager has scored six and assisted nine this season under Jesse Marsch in Austria and his technical abilities have turned heads across Europe.
He has just under two years left on his deal at the Red Bull Arena and is set to cost between £20m and £30m – a snip if Sané switches to a new side.
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