AS Monaco have been extremely impressive so far this term, they are currently leading Ligue 1 and they have also reached the knock-out stages of the Champions League.
Next week they’ll take on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in Europe’s elite club competition. I think Pep could view the tie as an ideal opportunity to look at opposing players that could improve his squad for next season as he looks to build on this term and challenge for the Premier League title.
Two standout performers for Monaco this season have been Fabinho and Thomas Lemar. Both could enhance the City squad next season.
I’d imagine that Pep will offload a few players from his own pool in the summer and that would free up room for new recruits.
I think the likes of Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna, Pablo Zabaleta, Yaya Toure, Nolito, Fabian Delph and Jesus Navas will think that their time at the Etihad might be coming to an end. I also don’t think that returning loanees Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony and Eliaquim Mangala have much chance of a return to City’s first team squad either.
So what would Thomas Lemar and Fabinho offer City if they were to arrive in Manchester this summer?
Well firstly both are very versatile talents and we know Pep loves the option to move his players around.
Guardiola has a penchant for moving full-backs into midfield roles, well Brazilian international Fabinho has already made that transition. He can play as a right-back but this season he’s been superb in ASM’s midfield. He likes a tackle, gets amongst the goals and is confident enough to step up and take penalties. He also has a very energetic style and is strong on the ball.
Fabinho is also a smart player, that’s why he can play in various positions and not look out place. His positioning and understanding is another quality that will no doubt attract Pep.
The Brazilian has just put pen to paper on a new deal with Monaco but that could just be a case of the club protecting their investment. Fabinho’s dad recently came out and said that both Manchester clubs were interested in his lad but intimated that he’d prefer a move to City:
“We like Manchester United and the work of Mourinho, but we have a little soft spot for City,”
“have a soft spot for Manchester City.”
In Lemar’s case, he’s an attacker who can play on either wing or in the hole behind the frontman. His impressive form this term has earned him his first cap for Les Bleus.
This season the left-footer has picked up ten goals and six assists in thirty appearances. A fine set-piece specialist who seems to prefer to start out on the left but is equally adept when out on the right. A superb dribbler, who likes to get the ball into the box as quickly as possible.
Lamar’s outing at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League and in the return game in Monaco, showed that the English defences don’t intimidate the small creative force in the slightest.
His contract talks seem to have stalled and it has been reported that Monaco would look at receiving at least £30m for the winger.
Both players are under twenty-four and you’d imagine that they would arrive and soak up everything Guardiola has to teach them. They are already extremely talented footballers and you can only imagine that they’ll get even better with more experience under their belts.
Certainly two that will be on Pep’s radar this summer but before any big transfers can be examined, the Manchester City boss has to stop the pair in the Champions League!
Posted on February 16th, 2017 by scott
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