Currently Manchester City is the deepest and most talented group of players on the EPL side of the Channel. One could even argue that their skill level rivals those fielded by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. However, The Powder Blues’ form has been suspect away from the Etihad this year. While their recent form has been better, this is a problem they need to fix in January before it becomes a problem in May.
What would the new look Manchester City be without a big money, big name signing come January. And no City fans I am not talking about Messi. There are some things that money can’t buy and what the Little Argentine means to Barcelona is impossible to estimate. Plus Messi would just come in and strengthen a strength, while Pellegrini will be focused on his weaknesses. Joe Hart may be the best goal keeper that England has, but he is certainly not the best that City can afford. While the rumors for Manuel Neuer are utter nonsence, the Sheiks money could land another big time name. Iker Casillas displeasure in his current position at the Bernabeu should leave a door open that City can exploit. The World Cup is playing on the Spaniards mind, and guaranteed playing time at a big time club is a must if you want to play for the best international team in the world. If City cannot secure the big name keeper, Julio Cesar could be tempted to leave QPR on loan to play in the Premier League. However, securing him on a transfer would mean prying him away from Harry Redknapp’s plans, which would be difficult without a premium.
Manchester City has also struggled in the middle of their backline. Lescott is not the player he was and City are struggling to find answers. Vincent Kompany’s battles with injuries has also left doubts in many of the Rowdy Neighbors minds. While City cannot afford to replace their captain now, they do need options if the Belgian disappears into injury abyss. Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala looks to be a prime target for City, however he will need time to adjust to the speed of the Premier League game. If Tottenham has taught us anything this year players from lesser leagues are ill prepared to step into the blender that is the BPL. Etienne defender Kurt Zouma could also join City in the winter, but his disciplinary issues on the pitch would make me nervous. However, he did shut down Falcao in their match up with Monaco, proving he has some quality. Plus, while the French Ligue 1 isn’t incredible, it is more similar to the talent level you find in England.
With all the talent that City has, it is easy to speculate on all the players that are going to leave. However, many of these rumors are just speculation for January, and City would be unwilling to part with many of their key players during a title run. If City manages to bring in a top level keeper, Joe Hart will fall as the next domino. Luckily for the Englishman, there are many teams that would do well with his services. Maybe going and playing for say Stoke, where the pressure for perfection is a little less, would be good for Hart. Lets not forget he is still a tremendous talent… but just a bit of a head case. Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero have both been rumored to join Hart leaving the Etihad. However, there was something that Real, Chelsea and Arsenal couldn’t predict and thats Aguero going down injured. Yes Manchester City fans Sergio’s injury is a blessing in disguise. Real Madrid will not spend a healthy sum on the Argentine with the future of his season in doubt, especially with the sum the just spent on Bale (plus they’re saving up for a summer bid for Suarez). Pellegrini is also unlikely to move a striker while his main target is down injured in the height of a title run.
City will bring in a big name at Keeper just because they are City and thats what City does. However, don’t look for too many changes at the Etihad. Chemistry is everything with stars, and right now the Powder Blues are cooking up a delicious and addictive product with that chemistry. Names like Milner, Garcia and Navas are also regulars on the bench, so the need for depth there is non-existent. Don’t be surprised to see a few new backs come to the Etihad though. While they won’t be regulars, their introduction into cup games and as substitutes could lead to a better product down the road.