The strikers topping Pep's shopping list

By Jasmine Jones, Thu 10 June 2021 12:28

The strikers topping Pep's shopping listHarry Kane, Erling Haaland and Lautaro Martinez all linked with moves to City

Despite winning two trophies in the 2020/21 season, Manchester City have a few selection problems for next season. Sergio Aguero is now a Barcelona player, so who will Pep Guardiola replace him with?

Will it be a blockbuster signing or one with an eye on the future? It can be argued that City might not need to spend a massive amount on a new striker. Five of the top 32 goal scorers in the 2020/21 Premier League season played for Manchester City. Not one of them was called Sergio Aguero.

He missed a lot of the season and scored just four goals in the Premier League and was down in 78th on that list. The simple truth is City won the title by 12 points, and Aguero played little part in that triumph.

City had seven players scoring at least five Premier League goals last season. Any club in the Premier League would love to have just one or two players as good as Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan, Ferran Torres, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne.

The experts think the City striker situation is not too problematic because the bookmakers already have them at 4/6 to win the Premier League next season. Will they turn the screw on their rivals by going out and buying a top striker? With over 30 goals conceded in 2020/21, perhaps they might look to strengthen their defence instead? Knowing City, they'll probably do both!

An eye on transfer targets

Who are the potential replacements for Aguero? City may be top dogs in England again, but that Champions League title still eludes them. If they want to go all out to finally win it, then a massive signing might be on the cards. There's no hope now of signing Lionel Messi, but Harry Kane seems to be on his way out of Tottenham.

It could cost as much as £100 million to sign the England captain. The word is that Raheem Sterling might be leaving City this summer. A swap deal plus some cash looks possible. Kane isn't just the Golden Boot winner, but he also had the most Premier League assists with 14. Imagine him scoring plenty of goals (assists from De Bruyne and Foden on their way) and helping to create goals for the others in the team. The only worries maybe that Kane can be a bit injury prone and is 28 next month.

Another target is Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund. The prolific goal scorer would cost a fortune; then there are his wages to sort out. He scored 41 goals in as many games for Dortmund in 2020/21. Haaland turns 21 in July, so it would be not just a massive statement to the rest of Europe but a player who could be at the club for years, but does he want to leave Dortmund after they made it into the Champions League? Plus, Chelsea have already expressed their interest.

City may decide to look to the future and sign a young striker. Lautaro Martinez is one possible target and a deal that may well be easy to complete. Martinez has just won the Serie A title with Inter, but the club has a few financial problems.

The Argentinian scored 17 goals for Inter in the 2020/21 Serie A season. Over the past two seasons, he's scored 40 goals in all competitions. Aged only 23, he could be in the City line-up for many a year.

Eintracht Frankfurt striker Andre Silva is also believed to be on the Aguero replacement shortlist. The Portuguese international scored 28 goals in 32 Bundesliga games in 2020/21 and is already in double figures for Portugal. With Frankfurt missing out on Champions League football next season, a move to the Etihad may well appeal. City already have three members of the Portuguese national team, so he'd feel at home.

Perhaps Harry Kane might not be the only English striker that could move to Manchester City in the summer. Danny Ings is 29 next month but has scored 34 goals for Southampton in the past two Premier League seasons. Whoever City sign won't be playing in every game. They'll have to get used to sitting on the bench (well, posh seats) and having someone like Ings to start a few games or come on as a sub for 20 minutes wouldn't be a bad idea. Manchester United are also interested in him, though.

City comfortably won the Premier League, despite a slow start and injury problems. They are a club that looks to the future, so it will be interesting to see just who if anyone, is chosen to replace Aguero. Their rivals will be watching very closely indeed and hoping it won't be Kane or Haaland.