Man City need what Man Utd have as Guardiola pays price for transfer hesitation

Manchester City could benefit from their rivals’ ability to eek out undeserved wins, as the club’s hesitation in the summer transfer market may return to haunt them this season

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Klopp previews Liverpool’s Premier League clash against Man City

One of the headline stories of the summer transfer window was the long-running will-he, won’t-he saga of Harry Kane’s possible move to Manchester City.

As things panned out, Kane did not leave. Instead remaining at a lethargic and uninspired Tottenham.

And whilst City did not land their man, Manchester United did. Three of them in fact.

By all accounts, the Red Devils had a very good transfer window.

But one of the most important things they seem to have got out of it was the ability to win games they do not necessarily deserve to win.

United have looked lamentable at times this season already, and yet gone on to snatch victory – with Wednesday’s last-gap win over Villarreal a case in point.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola



They also relied on a late goal – and David de Gea’s penalty save – to squeeze past West Ham.

Meanwhile, despite early stumbles, Guardiola’s team have come back defiant and put in a statement victory over Chelsea and some dominant performances since.

City have once again established themselves as one of the teams to beat in the league, as United have oscillated between brilliant and brittle in their play.

Yet, City would no doubt have benefitted from a top marksman in the Kane/Cristiano Ronaldo mould to help boost their chances of gaining maximum points.

Their failure to find a goal in the opening day defeat to Tottenham laid bare the problem, while a draw with Southampton also shone a light on their lack of firepower.

Another defeat midweek against Paris Saint-Germain was also telling, after City created enough opportunities to find the net.

City’s difficulty in winning games they have dominated could prove costly if it continues over the course of the campaign.

They can outpass and outplay their opponents and have them scrambling about the pitch for 90 minutes and still come away without all three points.

By contrast, United look exposed in defence, vulnerable in the middle, and bloated upfront and have still been able to secure the win.

The Red Devils’ luck is sure to run out at some stage, and their start has not been without issue – as elimination from the Carabao Cup and defeats to Young Boys and Aston Villa have proved.

Harry Kane could have been the missing puzzle piece to Pep Guardiola’s City

Yet it is that knack of coming up with a goal at the right time that can be a valuable weapon in their armoury.

As Bruno Fernandes explained after Cristiano Ronaldo’s late winner on Wednesday: “I always had the feeling we would win the game. When they score I feel that we could come into the game and turn it around it around.”

Despite being far superior to Chelsea – as Blues boss Thomas Tuchel even conceded – City relied on a deflected scrappy goal to win 1-0.

Guardiola will have few complaints if every game goes like that this season, though his side have been left ruing their wasted chances in midweek, with Bernardo Silva’s glaring miss exhibit A.

This is why Guardiola wanted Kane, and Ronaldo, in turn.

He recognised the ongoing problem which might prevent their team from going all the way, especially with resurgent challenges from Liverpool and Chelsea.

A world-class attacker is less there to help you win the games you dominate, and play well in, and more to win you games you should have no claim to.

This is what Harry Kane has been doing with Spurs for years now.

Along with Son Heung-min, they have long allowed Tottenham to perform beyond their means.

Now City – with Sergio Aguero gone – have fewer players who can snatch victories and extra points that often prove so valuable in a title race.

If they look to their Manchester rivals, in Ronaldo, and Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes, the Red Devils have it in bucket loads.

Guardiola is now paying the price for City’s transfer hesitation, and it might just cost them silverware this season.

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