Manchester City failed to get a move for Harry Kane over the line this summer and began the season without a new striker, but could switch their focus and follow Manchester United’s footsteps
It’s no secret that Pep Guardiola’s side are in need of a natural no.9, but they won the Premier League without one last season, and they decided to try and defend their crown again without a born finisher.
City have shown that they’re still the side to be feared despite a rocky start against Spurs, but a centre forward would undoubtedly make them an unstoppable force.
However, Guardiola may opt not to sign a new striker once again.
Despite failing to land one of their main targets, City still broke the Premier League transfer record this summer as they signed Jack Grealish for £100million from Aston Villa, and Guardiola may prioritise a midfield option again instead of going all-out to sign a striker in January.
According to Spanish news outlet Fichajes, Guardiola is prioritising reinforcing his midfield options when the transfer window reopens in January.
The City boss has reportedly requested to make a move for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips as he eyes a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, and spending big on a defensive midfielder matches his plans moving forward.
Following the departure of Sergio Aguero, the only natural strikers in and around the first team are Gabriel Jesus and Liam Delap, and Guardiola may look to shadow neighbours Manchester United in giving the 18-year-old a chance.
Should Manchester City turn to their youth more often? Comment below
City have been known for spending big over the years, and not prioritising youth has cost them in recent times as Jadon Sancho and Brahim Diaz have gone on to star away from the Etihad Stadium.
United gave both Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford chances to prove themselves after impressing at youth level, and it could be time for Delap to be handed a real chance at the helm of a star-studded front line.
With so much quality in the City side, it’s a strikers dream to feed off of Grealish, Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne just to name a few, and Guardiola could turn to his youth as he looks to start a natural centre forward as opposed to trialing a wide playing through the middle.
Of course, City’s decision not to pay over the odds for Kane, and choice to opt out of a move for Cristiano Ronaldo this summer may have been because they’re eyeing a move for Erling Haaland next season.
The Norwegian ace will be available for just £68m from next summer as a clause in his current Borussia Dortmund contract becomes active.
Every club in Europe will be battling for Haaland’s signature, but if Guardiola does snub his youth in favour of bringing out the chequebook once more, the Dortmund star could solve City’s striking options for the foreseeable future.