Manchester City have already been busy this summer but missed out on one of their primary transfer targets yesterday as Dani Alves secured a move to Paris Saint-Germain. This has left City desperately short of cover in the full-back positions. We take a look at why signing Tottenham Hotspur’s 27-year-old right-back Kyle Walker could be the best choice for City.
It has come as a surprise to many that Alves has decided to snub Pep Guardiola’s side to instead sign a two-year deal with PSG. At one point, it looked almost nailed on that he would be making the move to English football, but instead, Manchester City has been left stung by his decision to go elsewhere.
Many disappointed City supporters believe that Alves made this decision purely based on financial reasons rather than a footballing one. He is set to earn around £20 million over the next two years at the Ligue 1 side, and this is a wage that Manchester City were reportedly not prepared to compete with. But would you really want a player who bases his career moves primarily on money at your club?
Despite the disappointment of not managing to lure Alves to the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola has already moved on to other targets to fill the void at right-back. City are reportedly set to step up their interest in Walker, who would arguably be a better addition for the long-term.
Of course, Alves has maintained his position as one of the best full-backs in the world over the last few years at both Barcelona and Juventus. However, at 34-years-old, he is unlikely to have more than a couple of years left in him. In comparison, Walker is seven years younger and could improve his game further under the guidance of Guardiola next season.
Another benefit to signing Walker, which many people tend to forget, is that it will help City meet the Football Association’s (FA) Homegrown Player Rule. Premier League clubs are currently required to name eight homegrown players in their 25-man first-team squad, but this could potentially rise to 12 in the next few years.
Over the last few years, Walker has really stood out as one of the best right-backs in the top flight. His development was aided by Mauricio Pochettino’s arrival at White Hart Lane in 2014 as his attacking style of play has allowed Walker to flourish. The 27-year-old has now made 183 appearances for Spurs and has been named to the Professional Footballers’ Association Team of the Year on two occasions for his performances in both the 2011/12 and 2016/17 season.
There is no doubt that City desperately need to add a fullback to their squad after Gael Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna have all already left the club this summer. Guardiola was confident of landing Alves on a free transfer to solve this issue but now may have to spend big instead. It is likely that Spurs will demand a figure of between £40-50 million for Walker this summer and are likely to hold-out for even more now that they know City have failed to land Alves.
It may be frustrating to many Manchester City supporters that they were unable to secure a deal for Alves, but they are still tipped by many to have a successful season. Guardiola has already added midfielder Bernardo Silva and goalkeeper Ederson to his squad from Monaco and Benfica respectively this summer.
Manchester City’s squad is already full of world-class talent, and they massively underachieved last season. They will be expected to improve on their third place finish in the Premier League and acquiring the services of Walker would certainly help them on their way to doing just that.