Manchester City have confirmed that fullback Angeliño will join RB Leipzig on loan again this season with a reportedly mandatory £18 million purchase clause.
Despite showing incredible promise after some great displays in the Champions League this season for RB Leipzig, Manchester City have deemed Angeliño surplus to requirements at the Etihad.
He will rejoin the German outfit on loan for the season before a mandatory £18 million purchase comes into effect next summer, meaning his return to City after being bought back from PSV will have lasted just half a season. During that time, the Spaniard had earned his way into Pep Guardiola’s rotation at a troubled position, and I firmly believed that his performances at Leipzig warranted another look.
However, it appears he will depart the club on a relatively modest fee given how well he played during the last half of the season, and from that perspective it seems to be a poor bit of business. However, City paid just over £5 million to bring the defender back from PSV, so they have turned a quick profit, but I believe in today’s market that he is a £25-30 million player.
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More intriguing now, however, is the left-back conundrum. João Cancelo is simply a superior footballer than other options Ben Mendy and Oleksandr Zinchenko, and therefore should be given the starting role as he was at the end of last season. However, given the inconsistency and poor showings from Mendy and Zinchenko last season, I viewed Angeliño as a stable but unspectacular choice that should be second after Cancelo.
Perhaps Guardiola’s preference for Mendy stems for the large transfer sum paid for the Frenchman, while Zinchenko’s conversion from midfield is a natural project of his, but Angeliño was simply a low-risk investment. I do believe the team is even weaker than it was yesterday in terms of defensive depth, and the only scenario in which this transfer makes sense is if the deferred money gives City the opportunity to match Napoli’s asking price for Kalidou Koulibaly.
Angeliño should have a successful career in Germany as one of the team’s first-choice players, but for Manchester City, several questions remain as the Premier League season creeps closer and closer.