As the season end approaches, rumours of what business teams in England’s top flight plan to do over the summer are starting to come to the fore. And an outfit expected to be busy once again is Manchester City. They’ve never been shy when it comes to spending, and one player on their radar appears to be Brentford’s, Aaron Hickey.
Hickey, 20, signed for The Bees following a stint with Bologna in Italy after making the breakthrough in his native Scotland with Hearts, but after only a season with Brentford, he could be on the move once again. Looking at the Premier League betting odds on Manchester City winning the title, it would seem to be a definite foregone conclusion that The Citizens are going to defend their crown, and one thing the club will certainly not do is rest on their laurels.
What has always been the case with City is that Pep Guardiola has been backed to strengthen his squad, especially on the back of success, so they don ’t give ground up to their rivals. And while many may not initially be convinced by the thought of signing Hickey, who turns twenty-one in the summer, there are many pros to signing him, and his nationality, age and versatility are three significant advantages.
Guardiola adding Hickey to his ranks means he immediately has another homegrown player in his squad, and as he's in his early twenties, there's not only potential for him to improve under the Spaniard's tutelage but to be around for many years to come. However, in Hickey, Man City will also have a fullback who can play naturally on the right and left instead of being one shoehorned into position on their unnatural side.
Hickey s potential arrival would also solve another problem within the City ranks, with Joao Cancelo’s future in serious doubt. The Portuguese, who is a right back by trade but can play at left back, is currently out on loan at Bayern Munich following a bust-up over playing time at The Etihad, and it ’s unlikely his career with The Citizens will continue beyond the summer. The German giants are unwilling to pay the buy clause of €70 million, but there could be negotiations to get the move over the line.
The money they get from any deal involving the permanent transfer of Cancelo elsewhere could be used to prise Hickey from Brentford's clutches. But, after The Bees paid an initial £14 million to take the Scot out of Bologna, and with him penning a deal until 2026, they will be looking to generate a significant amount of profit after seeing him start most of the games he’s been available for in his debut season in the Premier League. But, as seen with other City signings of late, Hickey could be an investment worth making, as he’s only going to get better, which means his value will continue to grow along the way.