Manchester City: Five players to bring and five players who deserve the axe
Published 13/04/2015 | 17:43
Whether or not Manuel Pellegrini is around to oversee it, Manchester City need to conduct a major squad overhaul this summer after their alarming slide continued with a 4-2 defeat to United in Sunday's Manchester derby.
Here, we consider five who should get the chop, and five who could replace them.
1) Yaya Toure, midfielder, 31
It might seem a little drastic to cut adrift the midfield talisman, scorer of 11 goals in 39 appearances amid plenty of inconsistency this season, but with Inter Milan hovering, this could be the last chance for City to raise serious money for Toure. Getting his substantial wages off the books would help fund the rest of the rebuild.
2) Edin Dzeko, striker, 29
The Bosnian lives or dies on his goal-scoring record - having never been much cop at linking up play - and four in 21 league appearances is not good enough. Wilfried Bony is waiting in the wings to take his place, and the time is now.
3) Aleksandar Kolarov, left-back, 29
The Serbian left-back is technically part of a rotation with Gael Clichy, but his often casual approach to defensive responsibilities combined with a declining impact at the other end make it easy to see why he has fallen out of favour. City are hunting a new left-back, and Clichy would be more likely than Kolarov to stick around to deputise.
4) Stevan Jovetic, forward, 25
The Montenegrin could blame injury for disrupting his first season with City, but only maddening inconsistency explains his second. While he is capable of flashy strikes, he does not seem to fit into City's style of play and his cameo appearances as a substitute vary wildly in impact.
5) Fernando, midfielder, 27
Fernando has made 29 appearances in all competitions since joining from Porto, but City fans are still wondering exactly what he brings to the party. Meant to be the ball-winner, the Brazilian is too slow to break up play, and on the occasions he has got the ball, his distribution has been dismal.
1) Paul Pogba, Juventus midfielder, 22
This would be a dream signing for most City fans. Pogba would reinvigorate City's stifled midfield, and the prospect of stealing away a player who might otherwise be running Manchester United's engine room would be sweet.
2) Jack Wilshere, Arsenal midfielder, 23
While we're retooling the midfield, City could try to snatch away Wilshere, who has been overtaken at Arsenal after a further spell on the sidelines. His injury record is a clear concern, but a fit and healthy Wilshere would be a better option - and potentially cheaper - than the still unproven Ross Barkley.
3) Layvin Kurzawa, Monaco left-back, 22
The young France international has already visited Manchester with a summer deal appearing highly possible, although others are interested and City will need to secure Champions League football to be in the frame. Kurzawa is rated as one of the best young full-backs on the continent, with an emphasis on getting forward.
4) Kevin De Bruyne, Wolfsburg forward, 23
De Bruyne has shone for Wolfsburg since leaving Chelsea, and City could bank on the notion that, like another one-time Chelsea reject Nemanja Matic, he is now ready to shine in the Premier League.
5) Marcos Lopes, on loan at Lille, forward, 19
City have spent huge sums on their academy, but do not have a single youth product in the first team. Lopes has impressed on loan at Lille and could be the man to make it, but whether it is him or a youngster such as Brandon Barker, Thierry Ambrose, or Kelechi Iheanacho, Financial Fair Play rules dictate that it is time for the kids to get their chance.