Say it gently, but we believe Manchester City will be looking for a striker in the summer... As the greatest story of the summer transfer window looms in the horizon, the 'S' word is already on the thoughts of everyone involved with City. After failing to sign Harry Kane last summer, the Blues now have even more alternatives, with Erling Haaland, Dusan Vlahovic, Kane, and Alexander Isak all being connected with the role of Pep Guardiola's primary man up front.
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It will be huge news whoever the Premier League champions end up signing. The striker problem, though, will not be Guardiola's biggest problem this summer. City appear to have figured out the holding midfield position, with Rodri proving to be a revelation in the role after a difficult two years of learning and adaptation. This season, the Spain international has been one of City's greatest performers, but in a quieter manner than Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva. Well, understated until he's launching rockets from 30 yards into the top corner, but you get the idea.
In Guardiola's positional play system, he has mastered the job of the number six, which is to attract pressure from opponents in order to create space for his teammates to exploit and to distribute the ball with ease when City comes up against low-block defenses. His performances this season have been compared to those of Sergio Busquets, Guardiola's Barcelona holding midfielder.
So there's no need for City to recruit a new midfielder, right? Fernandinho's future throws a wrench in the works. City's club captain is now 36 years old, considerably past the age at which City's seasoned players are normally moved on. For years, his young physicality and astute football mind have maintained him at the top of his game, but as we've seen in a few games this season, the former has begun to leave him.
With fewer than six months left on his one-year contract extension signed last summer, Fernandinho's time in sky blue appears to be coming to an end. Who can City bring in to cover for Rodri, that is the question. It's a fairly difficult question to answer.
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