Yaya Toure departs the Etihad as Man City submit released list

June 15, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News 

Long-serving midfielder Yaya Toure has left Manchester City after eight years. The Ivorian international is out of contract this summer and it appears he won’t have his deal at the Etihad Stadium renewed after City submitted their released list to the Premier League earlier this month.

Toure joined the Sky Blues from Barcelona in 2010 and went on to make more than 300 appearances in all competitions, winning three Premier League titles, three League Cups and one FA Cup. The 35-year-old was undoubtedly the best midfielder in the Premier League for a short period, combined a cultured style with industry and power to make him a real all-rounder.

Manchester City released players from 2017/18

  • Diallo, Sadou
  • Duhaney, Demeaco
  • Patching, William Luke
  • Sarmiento Martinez, Erik
  • Sokol, Pawel Kazimierz
  • Toure, Gnegneri Yaya
  • Wood, Marcus James

Toure fell down the pecking order last seasons, making just one Premier League start in 2017/18, but he remains a club legend for many supporters for what he achieved in his prime. He joined City at a time where they didn’t have a major top-flight trophy to their name since the Premier League’s inception and helped usher in a new era of success.

David Silva, Kevin de Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan have kept him on the bench in the last 12 months, but Toure has stated that he wants to play at the top-level when deciding his next club this summer. Despite his advancing age, he still believes he can perform, so it will be interesting to see who he lines up for next.

Manchester City retained players from 2017/18 (Premier League)

  • Abdelkader Diaz, Brahim
  • Adarabioyo, Tosin
  • Aguero Del Castillo, Sergio
  • Agyepong, Thomas
  • Agyiri, Ernest
  • Amankwah, Yeboah
  • Ambrose, Thierry
  • Antuna Romero, Carlos Uriel
  • Barker, Brandon Lee
  • Bolton, Luke Phillip
  • Brattan, Nathan Luke
  • Bravo Munoz, Claudio Andres
  • Bryan, Kean Shay
  • Buckley-Ricketts, Isaac
  • Bytyqi, Sinan
  • Caceres, Anthony
  • Celina, Bersant
  • Corrigan, Ryan
  • Da Silva, Danilo Luiz
  • Davenport, Jacob Alexander
  • De Bruyne, Kevin
  • Dele-Bashiru, Ayotomiwa Sherif
  • Delph, Fabian
  • Denayer, Jason
  • Dilrosun, Javairo Joreno Faustino (offer)
  • Diskerud, Mikkel Morgenstar Palssonn
  • Esmoris Tasende, Jose Angel
  • Fernandes Cantin, Paolo
  • Fernando De Jesus, Gabriel
  • Foden, Philip Walter
  • Francis, Edward Albert
  • Garcia Alonso, Manuel
  • Garcia Serrano, Aleix
  • Garre, Benjamin Antonio
  • Gonzalez, Lorenzo Jose
  • Grimshaw, Daniel James (offer)
  • Gundogan, Ilkay
  • Gunn, Angus Fraser James
  • Harrison, Jack David
  • Hart, Charles Joseph John
  • Herrera Ravelo, Yangel Clemente
  • Humphreys-Grant, Cameron
  • Ilic, Luka
  • Jimenez Silva, David Josue
  • Kayode, Olarenwaju Ayobami
  • Kigbu, Ahogrenashinme
  • Kompany, Vincent
  • Kongolo, Rodney
  • Laporte, Aymeric
  • Latibeaudiere, Joel Owen
  • Luiz Roza, Fernando
  • Luiz Soares De Paulo, Douglas
  • Maffeo Becerra, Pablo
  • Mangala, Eliaquim
  • Mari Villar, Pablo
  • Matondo, Rabbi
  • Mendy, Benjamin
  • Moreno Duran, Marlos
  • Mota Veiga de Carvalho, Bernardo
  • Muric, Arijanet Anan
  • Nemane, Aaron Evans
  • Nmecha, Lukas
  • Nwakali, Chidiebere Chikioke
  • Oliver, Charles William Corrigan
  • Otamendi, Nicolas
  • Poveda-Ocampo, Ian Carlo
  • Pozo La Rosa, Iker
  • Richards, Taylor Jerome
  • Roberts, Patrick John Joseph
  • Rosler, Colin
  • Ross Palmer Brown, Erik
  • Sane, Leroy
  • Santana de Moraes, Ederson
  • Smith, Matthew
  • Smith-Brown, Ashley
  • Sterling, Raheem Shaquille
  • Stones, John
  • Tanor, Collins
  • Walker, Kyle Andrew
  • Wilson, Tyreke
  • Yeboah, Yaw
  • Zinchenko, Oleksandr

Why are Manchester City so desperate to sign Jorginho from Napoli?

June 7, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer Targets 

After Manchester City were reported to be in advanced talks with Napoli over Jorginho, president Aurelio De Laurentiis revealed on Sunday that they had rejected a £44m bid from the Sky Blues for the Italian international’s signature.

According to Sky Sports, City have been keen on Jorginho since April and could pay a lofty asking price to bring him to the Etihad Stadium this summer. With Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan and Fabian Delph as his options in midfield, why does Pep Guardiola want Jorginho so much?

A worthy replacement for Fernandinho

Guardiola has a lot of midfielders in the City squad, but there’s nobody who can replace Fernandinho. The Brazilian international protects the backline and snuffs out any danger in the middle of the park, while also threading attacks and retaining possession.

Signed from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013, the 33-year-old has gone on to make 231 appearances in all competitions for City, winning two Premier League titles and three League Cups. Fernandinho was an unsung hero as the Sky Blues won the league title with 100 points last season. He averaged a tackle or interception every 26 minutes and made 88 passes-per-game with a 90% completion ratio.

Manchester City and Brazil midfielder Fernandinho.

He’s contracted with City until 2020 but Fernandinho is undoubtedly in the eve of his career and will need a long-term replacement. Jorginho looks to be that play. For Napoli, he sits in the middle of a midfield trio, protecting the backline without the ball and pulling the strings when in possession.

Like Fernandinho, Jorginho excels at turning over possession, averaging a tackle or interception every 24 minutes in the Serie A, but combative qualities aren’t solely enough for a Guardiola side – players need to be comfortable on the ball with speed of thought and good improvisation.

Qualities in possession make him a perfect fit for City

Jorginho isn’t just a defensive midfielder, he’s a player with fantastic vision who seldom relinquished possession. The Italian international always has his head up, looking for runs from his teammates. He can pick out any pass from nearly any distance and has the ability to put chances on a plate for others – creating 49 chances in 33 Serie A games last season.

At Napoli, Jorginho thrived having willing runners from wide areas to pick out when he was in possession. He’ll enjoy playing for Manchester City for the same reason. Guardiola’s men play direct when turning over possession to catch their opponent on the counter, utilising the pace from Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus to turn defence into attack in seconds.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is desperate to sign Jorginho.

And given City build their attacks from the back, often racking up a lot of passes in the middle third, having a player comfortable receiving the ball in tight areas and being able to improvise is essential. Jorginho is exactly that.

He racked up 97 passes-per-game on average for Napoli in Serie A last season, completing 90% of them. Guardiola might have to pay top dollar to secure his signature this summer, but he may be worth it.

Pep Guardiola only wants two additions to the Man City squad this summer

May 31, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer Targets 

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is reportedly only looking to make two signings this summer. After the Sky Blues won the Premier League title with 100 points, finishing 19 ahead of second place, it could be argued they barely need to strengthen.

Guardiola isn’t one to rest on his laurels, however, and will always be thinking ahead to ensure his squad is the strongest it can possibly be going into the season. He wants one replacement in every position in case of injury or a dip in form and there are two players on his shortlist who would complete City’s squad.

Mahrez will complete Man City’s attack

Leicester City forward Riyad Mahrez looks on his way to the Etihad Stadium and will join Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane in the attack. The Algerian international has been a long-term target of Guardiola’s and would certainly add to the squad.

The 27-year-old scored and created 22 goals in 36 Premier League games last season and could be a more tried-and-tested option than Bernardo Silva who was inconsistent in his debut season for City and started only 15 of his 35 appearances. Mahrez is an upgrade, based on their comparative performances in the league.

Jorginho will eventually replace Fernandinho

So, Mahrez will complete the attack and Jorginho might be completing City’s midfield. The Napoli star is expected to sign for the Sky Blues this summer and would be an immediate replacement for Yaya Toure who left at the end of the season and a long-term replacement for 33-year-old Fernandinho.

Jorginho is a defensive-minded player who averaged a tackle and interception every 24 minutes in the Serie A last season, while creating 49 chances and making 97 passes-per-game – completing 90% of them. It’s not hard to see why Guardiola is keen on the 26-year-old.

Having someone comfortable in possession who can create chances and also break up the play is essential to City, and it will mean they have healthy competition for the holding role next season.

How Man City will line up next season

Assuming Guardiola sticks to a 4-1-2-2-1 formation next season, Manchester City may not make any notable changes to the starting lineup of 2017/18.

Ederson should remain between the sticks, while Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany partner each other at centre-back. John Stones and Aymeric Laporte will feature heavily at times too. Kyle Walker will keep his place at right-back while Benjamin Mendy should replace Fabian Delph at left-back.

Fernandinho should keep his place as the holding midfielder, although Jorginho will be given a lot of playing time if he signs for City as expected. Ilkay Gundogan will also be competing for minutes.

David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne will continue their midfield partnership, but a combination of Jorginho and Gundogan will be used when the pair need a rest. Guardiola may feel he needs one more midfielder.

Raheem Sterling was outstanding last season and will keep his place in attack, with Leroy Sane complimenting him on the opposite flank. Gabriel Jesus should get the nod ahead of Sergio Aguero up front, as his off-the-ball movement and industry fits Guardiola’s philosophy.

Man City XI for 2018/19: Ederson, Kyle Walker, Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones, Benjamin Mendy, Fernandinho, Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling

Guardiola isn’t giving up on trying to sign Mahrez

May 30, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer Targets 

Despite having three separate bids rejected in January, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is still desperate to sign Leicester City forward Riyad Mahrez. The 27-year-old impressed for the Foxes last season and has made it clear that he’s open to joining a bigger club, so a deal was always dependent on the Sky Blues meeting his asking price.

City already have Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero for competition in attack, but Guardiola wants strength in depth in all positions to challenge on all four fronts next season. The Manchester giants appear to have made a breakthrough with Mahrez too, all but agreeing a £60m deal for the 27-year-old.

Mahrez has big ambition and great mental strength

After helping Leicester City win the Premier League title in 2015/16 and being named PFA Players’ Player of the Year, Mahrez wasn’t interested in resting on his laurels. The Algerian international was already planning to move to a bigger club, but he was denied a transfer.

After handing in a request, he refused to play for Leicester but quickly made a U-turn and made 36 league appearances the following season. Mahrez once again tried to leave, realising his career would become stagnant with the Midlands outfit, but Leicester wouldn’t budge.

Leicester City forward Riyad Mahrez.

So, rather than strike again to force a move, Mahrez had one of his best-ever seasons, scoring and creating 23 goals in 36 league outings as Leicester finished in the top-half of the table. Now it appears City will let him leave this summer and it’s not hard to see why Guardiola pursued him for so long.

Mahrez has never rested on his laurels or been happy to settle, nor has he ever doubted his ability and potential. Even after being refused a move, he could still enjoy one of his best-ever seasons months later, so there’s no doubt the 27-year-old can hit the ground running in Manchester.

Bad news for Phil Foden, Patrick Roberts and maybe Bernardo Silva

If Mahrez joins, one or two existing players are likely to miss out. That could mean Phil Foden and Patrick Roberts have to be loaned out this summer to still get competitive football.

Bernardo Silva’s place in the side might be up for grabs too, with the 23-year-old having struggled in his debut season at the Etihad – 35 league games, six goals, four assists – so the Algerian’s arrival could be somewhat destabilising.

Manchester City forward Phil Foden.

Foden made only five appearances to pick up a Premier League winners’ medal last season and would have been hoping to feature more heavily after a year of being in and out of the first-team, but it looks like he’ll miss out. Roberts has made just three appearances since joining the club in 2015 and has been loaned out for two of those three years.

It’s hard to see him being in the squad next season, but Mahrez joining will make sure of it. Guardiola will have Sterling, Mahrez, Sane and Silva competing for two places in the City attack, so there may not be much room for any inexperienced youngsters. Nevertheless, Mahrez will improve the squad and could help City in their quest for European success.