5 realistic signings who could genuinely improve Manchester City... and 5 players to avoid
While it’s been a comparative cakewalk for De Bruyne, Silva, Leroy Sané and Sterling playing in a side where it’s impossible to single out one man to double up on, Hazard is the most heavily-patrolled playmaker in the Premier League.
Stick him in a sky-blue shirt and he’d surely run riot. In must-win matches, when opponents are protecting a lead by packing their penalty area, the Belgian's sorcery in seemingly non-existent spaces would be a huge asset. Although it's partly his fault, the 27-year-old surely won't fancy a season without Champions League football at Chelsea next season.
Aguero probably has a year left at City – his contract expires in summer 2019, and he's made no secret of his plans to return to Independiente at that point. And while City have the ideal long-term replacement for him in Gabriel Jesus, that's all they have – Guardiola was able to flick between the pair last season to great effect, and will need someone to replace the elder hitman soon.
Step forward Werner, then, the upwardly mobile RB Leipzig and Germany striker who will inevitably leave his current club at some point in the not-too-distant future – for the right price, of course. The 22-year-old has been a Bundesliga regular since he was 17 and is already his country's first-choice striker who will spearhead them at the World Cup this summer.
Twenty-one goals in 2016/17 helped fire Leipzig into the Champions League following promotion from the 2. Bundesliga, and though this campaign has been quieter for the young striker, his future is bright indeed. "Playing in the Premier League is a dream for me," he told FourFourTwo in April. "I would like to play for two or three clubs, and Manchester United are one of those."
If anyone can convince him otherwise, though...
5 players City should avoid...
- Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich): Massively injury-prone and though he’s very good on his day, the 27-year-old isn’t on the level of Isco, who would make a fantastic signing for City.
- Jonny Evans (West Brom): Nobody used to rave about him until Pep Guardiola decided he rated the Northern Ireland centre-back. Suddenly, every big club in England seemed to want him. Yet Evans is slow and not good enough for a team with title aspirations.
- Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid): A very good forward, but a very pricey option who isn't better than Aguero and arguably isn't good enough to take City to the next level. If the English champions do sign a striker soon, Harry Kane or Robert Lewandowski have to be higher on the list.
- Sergio Busquets (Barcelona): The 29-year-old is good at doing the simple things, but Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Weigl is a better, younger version.
- Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace): Another fine player, but he may not be quite good enough for City.