Manchester City Transfer Talk: 5 Potential Players to Add in January
Roberto Mancini's fixation on squad depth is the reason why Manchester City have arguably the deepest squad in Europe.
Last January, Mancini signed David Pizarro on loan from Roma and extended Costel Pantilimon's loan spell to a permanent deal.
So, it's probable that Mancini will be limited to one or two signings this January. Here are five potential players for City to target in the January transfer market.
I've decided not to include Falcao because City have an in-form Carlos Tévez, a world-class Sergio Agüero (who will be back), a mercurial Mario Balotelli, a serviceable Edin Džeko and an extremely talented John Guidetti.
By signing Falcao, Mancini is effectively ending Balotelli's career at City—will that happen? Probably not, considering how much Mancini has tolerated from Super Mario.
5. Diego Alves, Valencia, Goalkeeper, Age: 27
Valencia have a pleasant conundrum in that they can sell Diego Alves knowing they have a quality replacement in Vicente Guaita.
Manchester City should be able to have two world-class goalkeepers in Joe Hart and Alves whilst having a good third choice in Costel Pantilimon.
Right now, City have Richard Wright as a third choice—not good enough.
4. Pablo Armero, Udinese, Left Wing-Back, Age: 25
The only decent thing about Pablo Armero's unfortunate slip against Braga was that his teammate Maicosuel overshadowed it by miscuing his paneka, which cost Udinese €20 million plus UEFA Champions League qualification.
Armero's acceleration allows him to bypass most full-backs with ease. Then, factor in his incisive crossing ability and you have a wing-back who has the potential to provide 10 assists per season.
Should Roberto Mancini persist with a 3-5-2, Armero would be more dangerous at left wing-back than Aleksandar Kolarov and Gaël Clichy.
3. Lars Bender, Bayer Leverkusen, Defensive Midfielder, Age: 23
Lars or Sven? Lars is the better Bender, which is ironic because Sven garners more attention. Last season, Lars won back possession 6.9 times per game, 0.9 higher than Sven.
Lars Bender possesses excellent positional discipline, has good leadership skills and importantly, is a selfless teammate. Joachim Löw, who has a tendency to adopt unorthodox tactics, threw Lars into the deep end at right-back and the 23-year-old surprisingly played well against Denmark .
To be fair to Sven, he has the same personal qualities, but Lars is just a slightly more superior player right now.
Lars is the type of player that would fit perfectly into Roberto Mancini's squad.
2. Mateo Musacchio, Villarreal, Centre-Back, Age: 22
What's the excuse going to be if Matija Nastasić doesn't cope with the rigours of Premier League football? He's only 19.
Manchester City are in a win-now mentality, so why sign him? If Nastasić was signed cheaply, there wouldn't be any issues but £12 million indicates management believe he's good enough right now.
What will happen is one of the two (probably Cahill) will end up feeling the same way Fiorentina's Matija Nastasić felt after Cavani inspired Napoli to a 3-0 win.
That being said, Nastasić is just a kid and if you're getting torched, you may as well get torched by a world-class forward.
Mateo Musacchio is not only a more prolific ball-winner than Nastasić but has the athleticism to succeed in the Premier League.
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Spending £12 million on Musacchio would have been a more shrewder investment.
1. Nenê, Paris Saint-Germain, Left Attacking Midfielder, Age: 31
Paris Saint-Germain's treatment of Nenê can be described as tough loving.
After being PSG's most productive player last season, the Parisian club refused to extend the Brazilian's contract.The club also blocked a move to Beşiktaş, have yet to start Nenê on the left and his relationship with Zlatan Ibrahimović is toxic.
Ibrahimović is the second highest paid footballer in the world and Nenê wants a fraction of what the Swede is being paid because the Brazilian believes he has proven his worth to PSG.
Ibrahimović demanding Nenê's no. 10 shirt didn't help the relationship.
Was it a surprise that during a training session, Ibrahimović attempted to punch Nenê? No.
Nenê wants out and Manchester City must sign him in January.
He's a world-class footballer, one of the most dangerous dribblers, an elite passer and he'll come at a cut-price due to his expiring contract.