Manchester City squad assessment: Who should they keep, who should they sell?

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Manchester City squad assessment: Who should they keep, who should they sell?

2021/22 was an impressive season for Manchester City who claimed their 6th Premier League title.

The Sky Blues did not perform as well in the cup competitions and the Champions League continues to elude them, but Pep Guardiola and co. are no doubt confident of finally winning the competition next season.

Between then, though, is a summer transfer window which will see City given a chance to fine-tune their squad. But who should Pep keep and who should be shipped out the door? 101 have taken a look at every senior Manchester City player and decided if they should be kept or sold.

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Goalkeepers

Ederson

Had an excellent 2021/22 that saw him clinch the Golden Boot. He is the perfect goalkeeper for Pep Guardiola’s style of play.

Verdict: Keep

Zack Steffen

Has some work to do with the ball at his feet but he is a useful back-up option to Ederson.

Verdict: Keep

Scott Carson

Only made one appearance last season but is a useful character to have around the squad and Pep seems to be a fan. His wage is also unlikely to be burning a whole in City’s budget.

Verdict: Keep

Defenders

Kyle Walker

Remains a crucial part of Manchester City’s defence with his blistering pace often a key reason why Man City do not get hit on the counter that often despite playing such a high line.

Verdict: Keep

Joao Cancelo

A sensational full-back whose runs into midfield are key to City’s ability to break a side down.

Verdict: Keep

Ruben Dias

Obviously a brilliant central defender still, in theory, yet to enter the prime of his career.

Verdict: Keep

Aymeric Laporte

An excellent left-footed option to have at centre-back. Can also do a job at left-back if needed. Has plenty of experience and can cover for Dias if he is out.

Verdict: Keep

John Stones

Has had some sketchy moments during his time in a Man City shirt but has really come into his own over the last year or so. Was keeping Laporte, previously City’s best centre-back, out of the side before his injury.

Verdict: Keep

Nathan Ake

Costing over £40m he is one of the most expensive squad players out there, but he does his job well. Ake is a useful option to have when Pep wants to rest the above trio in cup ties against weaker sides or in the Premier League vs teams like Norwich, Watford etc.

Verdict: Keep

Oleksandr Zinchenko

Not the fastest option out there and can sometimes be lacking defensively. Like all Manchester City full-backs though, his ability to step into midfield to help overload the opponent is impressive and as City are short-staffed at full-back, he should be kept for now.

Verdict: Keep

Midfielders

Rodri

Rodri had a slow start to life in England but he has grown into the Fernandinho role very well, tactical fouling and all.

The Spaniard is firmly cemented as one of the Premier League’s best no.6s, combining an aggressive tackle with pin-point passing.

Verdict: Keep

Ilkay Gundogan

There is talk that Gundogan could be set to leave Manchester City this summer. However, if they can, the Sky Blues should retain the German’s services for 2022/23.

Gundogan’s runs for deep, as shown vs Aston Villa on the final day, lead to plenty of chances and goals and could be even more crucial next term when most of the opposing defences are expected to be focused on Erling Haaland.

Verdict: Keep

Phil Foden

Foden should obviously be kept. The 21-year-old was named the Premier League’s Young Player of the Season and he is expected to be challenging for the main award in the next few years. He is a sensational talent who can pretty much do it all.

Verdict: Keep

Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne is arguably the best passer of the ball in Europe. Some of the balls he is able to pull off simply boggle the mind. He has also started to add more goals to his game, finishing this past campaign as Manchester City’s top scorer in the Premier League.

Verdict: Keep

Bernardo Silva

Like Gundogan, question marks surround Bernardo Silva heading into the summer window. However, he too should be kept on. When KDB is injured or rested the Portuguese fills his role perfectly.

And even when De Bruyne and Silva start together, Silva’s job remains a crucial one, dropping deeper to form a double pivot with Rodri when City do not have the ball then using his dribbling ability to bring the ball out from deep to start attacks.

Verdict: Keep

Cole Palmer

Was not afforded too many chances in 2021/22 but is clearly a bright talent and may benefit from a loan move.

Verdict: Keep

Forwards

Raheem Sterling

Sterling has been a great servant for Manchester City and is only the second player – after Sergio Aguero – to score 50 or more Premier League goals at the Etihad.

However, Sterling’s future has been up in the air for a while, and now Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez are set to link up with City, it may be time for Sterling to move on as Foden and Grealish can cover the left-wing whilst the aforementioned new signings will be City’s strikers, rather than using someone like Sterling in a false-nine.

Verdict: Sell

Jack Grealish

2021/22 was by no means a great season for Jack Grealish, but selling him off so quickly would be foolish.

The likes of Rodri, Riyad Mahrez, Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva all took a season to show their best form in Pep’s system and the same is expected of Grealish.

Verdict: Keep

Riyad Mahrez

Despite being 31, Mahrez remains a key part of City’s success, especially in the Champions League. The Algerian scored seven and assisted two in 12 European outings this campaign and finished 2021/22 as City’s top scorer overall.

Verdict: Keep

Gabriel Jesus

Like Sterling, the arrival of Haaland and Alvarez means there is much less of a need for Jesus going forward.

Yes, he could get some minutes from the right, but Man City would probably just be better served cashing in on the Brazilian and then bringing in a natural right-winger.

Verdict: Sell


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