Man City Should be Keeping Tabs On Lyon’s Mouctar Diakhaby

It’s been a pretty special season so far for Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola’s men have yet to suffer from a defeat in any competition and that has seen them lead the Premier League table by six points.

They’ve been sensational going forward, no team has bettered their forty goal tally in the first twelve league games. They lead the European charts for having the best possession stats with an extremely healthy 65.6%. Only PSG have managed to have a better passing success average than City’s 89.3%.

Even at the back the Citizens have improved.

Ederson offers his side better all-round goalkeeping displays than his predecessor Claudio Bravo.

England centre-back John Stones is playing consistently better and showing just why City splashed out so much money for him in 2016. Stones has enjoyed a better partnership with Argentine defender Nicolas Otamendi.

In the Premier League, only Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United have conceded fewer than City’s seven goals.

Pep might believe he can still improve on his defence and will probably to add one or two new defenders within the next two transfer windows.

Questions still surround club captain Vincent Company’s long term fitness issues. I’d also suggest Pep remains unconvinced about the qualities Eliaquim Mangala brings to the table.

In the summer it was suggested that City really wanted to dump Mangala and bring in West Brom captain Jonny Evans instead. While a link with Southampton’s Virgil van Djik has never been too far away.

I wonder if Pep and the City scouting team will look elsewhere for a new defensive recruit.

The name Mouctar Diakhaby might have caught their attention.

Twenty year old Diakhaby broke into the Olympique Lyonnais team last season and has once again impressed in both Ligue 1 and the Europa League this term when he’s played. He gave a strong and assured performance in his side’s victories over Everton in Europe this year and that won’t have gone unnoticed at the Etihad.

Mouctar is a composed defender who is comfortable in passing the ball out of defence and use short passes, very much in the mould of a Pep defender. He also provides a threat from set-pieces with his aerial ability.

Another plus point in his skill-set is the fact he possess great pace and awareness. With a good sweeper keeper in Ederson, Man City can now afford to have a higher line but Guardiola might still want a faster defender than Kompany or Otamendi.

His fine performances at Lyon have also won him international recognition with the French under-21 side as well as admiring glances from other big European giants like FC Barcelona, Juventus and Chelsea.

We all know that Pep Guardiola loves to bring in young talent as they are more impressionable. They learn his style quickly and they buy into his philosophies. Getting in a player with the raw potential that Diakhaby has would seem like a great move for City.

The youngster wouldn’t need to be rushed into the first team, as long as two of the other centre-backs remain fit. He could initially come in and watch from the bench and learn the English game from there, making the odd cameos at times of Pep’s choosing.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas is a notoriously tough man to negotiate with. So any suitor will have to pay a premium price for the twenty-year old central defender.

Money isn’t really a stumbling block for Manchester City though and if they really want Mouctar then they will pay the going rate for him. Plus they could have an advantage in Mangala. Lyon have previously been interested in the French international defender and if they can get him in as part of the deal then they might be more inclined to sell to the Sky Blues rather than any other interested side.

Diakhaby would be an interesting proposition for City and Guariola if they really are on the lookout for a young replacement that can be ready if Kompany or Otamendi breakdown. It might be a move that they weigh up in the winter and then conclude in the summer, depending on their need and other if their is serious interest coming from elsewhere.

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