Jason Denayer Could Get Big Manchester City Break Under Pep Guardiola


I’d imagine that incoming Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will be very interested in Belgium’s European Championships campaign this summer.

Obviously he’ll be looking out for City maestro Kevin De Bruyne but Pep will also have an eye on young defender Jason Denayer.

City own the twenty year old Belgian, although he has yet to make his senior debut for ‘The Citizens’. In the past two seasons ex-City gaffer Manuel Pellegrini has decided to send the youngster out on loan, firstly to Scottish champions Celtic and then to Turkish giants Galatasaray last term.

Both loan spells have seen Denayer rewarded with plenty of game time and medals around his neck. In Scotland he was voted the young player of the year and won the Premiership title as well as the League Cup. While in Istanbul he won the Turkish Cup in his final appearance in a ‘Gala’ strip.

Like Celtic, Galatasaray have been impressed with Jason’s contribution to the side and want to extend the loan by a further season.

But this could be the ideal time for the defender to stay in Manchester and stake his claim for a place in Pep’s new look City side.

His two loans spells have seen him receive international recognition with Marc Wilmots’ Belgian national side, Denayer now boasts four senior caps to his name and has been called up to represent his country and this years Euros.

The Red Devils haven’t had much luck with their defensive options as of late with duo Nicolas Lombaerts and Dedryck Boyata joining Man City and Belgium captain Vincent Kompany on the sidelines with injuries ruling them out of featuring in France this summer. Injury concerns also hang over Thomas Vermaelen head, as he only started twelve times in the last campaign with Barcelona.

Given the lack of full-backs as well as centre-backs, we might see Jan Vertonghen moved to left-back and allow Jason Denayer to play alongside Toby Alderweireld in the central positions.

Belgian head coach Marc Wilmots has already stated that Denayer could be his sides best replacement for the influential Kompany:

“That’s why I brought Jason Denayer with us – he has the best profile to replace Vincent Kompany. He is fast and allows the team to play and press.”

Given that Kompany seems to becoming ever more prone to little niggles and injuries, Pep Guardiola might be extremely keen to see how Denayer copes in a big tournament environment and filling in for Kompany.

The two main attributes that Denayer has that might make Pep sit up and take notice is his speed and his composure on the ball.

We all know Guardiola likes to keep possession and have a passing style that’s pleasing on the eye. He also likes at least one of his centre-halves to have a bit of pace about him.

Martin Demichelis has already departed the Etihad and it will be interesting to see if the Spanish manager can make a player out of Eliaquim Mangala. I believe there is a good player in Mangala but he now needs to start proving it consistently. The Frenchman still makes far too many mistakes for a defender in a top class side.

Argentine Nicolas Otamendi showed he can be a top performer in the Premier League but still looked nervous without Kompany beside him.

Another plus for Denayer is the fact that he can also play as a right-back if called upon and even move up to play as a defensive midfielder. Pep likes to have players who can fill-in in a number of different positions.

City currently have two ageing right-backs in Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta, both of whom have only a year left on their contracts. Doubts surround both of their futures as Guardiola moulds his new regime. Again Denayer could be seen as an ideal back-up both centrally and at right-back.

All in all, it could be a big summer for Jason Denayer as the Euros in France could be seen as his audition to break into Pep Guardiola’s first team plans. If he cannot convince the Spaniard of giving him a spot in the Man City team then surely the next logical step will be for the young defender to find a loan to another Premier League side and prove himself in England and show that he’ll be ready for City in the near future.


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