Sports / Updates
Tuesday, 04 Jul 2017 12:30 EATtmatalanga@kenyafreepress.com
The fact that Pep Guardiola failed to win any silverware in his first season as Manchester City head tactician and a first in his managerial career has proved to be a strong impetus to the 46-year old Spaniard. This has seen him target several key players in the recently opened summer transfer window in a bid to strengthen his squad ahead of the forthcoming 2017/2018 season.
While addressing a press conference at the tail end of last season, Pep said: "Next season we will be better, and as a coach I am better than the year before, but it is not simple." However it would seem that the Spaniard wasn't mincing his words when signed 22-year old Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva from French Champions AS Monaco for £43 million, which the club announced on its twitter handle on 26th May this year.
Bernardo's signing was soon followed by the arrival of Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson Moraes from SL Benfica for £34.9 million who was brought in after Claudio Bravo's poor goalkeeping ability and confidence cost the team at key moments. It was a clear indication of Pep's future plans for the team . In fact City fans were treated to glimpses of Pep's tactics several times last season when the trio of Sterling, Sané and Gabriel Jesus churned out some eye catching football which saw Aguero start several matches from the bench after Jesus arrived from Palmeiras in January this year.
However, Guardiola biggest headache still remains at the left-back and right-back positions. Guardiola has shown keen interest in left-back Benjamin Mendy from Monaco as well as Kyle Walker from Tottenham at the right-back positions although reports suggest that former Barca right-back, Dani Alves could be headed to City after turning down a contract extension at Juventus in Turin after just one season with the "Old Lady", City's major problem in the course of last season was its defense. If Guardiola manages to fix his defensive woes just before the closure of the summer transfer window then without a doubt he means business come August 12 when the season commences.
Matalanga is a student of journalism at the East Africa School of Media Studies and an intern writer at the Kenya Free Press.