Manchester City had a tumultuous summer transfer window, but the question now turns to whether they did enough.
Manchester City reinforcing their defense was one of the storylines of the summer 2020 transfer window, but perhaps this window will be remembered more for what didn’t happen than what did. After being heavily linked with a dream move for Lionel Messi, they were denied by Barcelona’s board, and their Kalidou Koulibaly deal fell through to compound their misery.
Nathan Aké (CB, £40m): With the signing of Rúben Dias, the Aké transfer makes perfect sense. Last season, the wheels fell off completely when Aymeric Laporte was injured. Now, City have quality left-footed cover that can play multiple positions who will not be asked to carry the team defensively.
Ferran Torres (RW, £20.7m): City’s Leroy Sané replacement has all of the tools to become one of the Premier League’s very best. At such a young age, the pressure of being just as good as the German should not be applied, but he was available for such a good price given the internal turmoil at Valencia. This is arguably City’s best value buy of the window for future potential.
Rúben Dias (CB, £65m): The headline signing of City’s window will be Dias, who will be expected to revolutionize the defense alongisde Laporte. Given City’s repeated struggles at the back to start the season, the club should have made this deal the top priority and gotten it done before the league restarted, but I believe they signed a quality player.
David Silva (CAM, Free): City’s legendary midfielder left for Real Sociedad on a free. His creativity has already been missed in midfield, and he was not replaced through the market, despite Thiago Alcântara being available for just £27 million.
Leroy Sané (LW, £45m): City’s former star winger hurt the club by dragging the saga out with the threat of potentially re-signing in order to get to Bayern on a cheaper fee. It may sound cynical, but I believe he took advantage of City fans and the club’s desire to keep him in order to get his new club a sweet deal. City hardly turned a profit on a player worth easily over £100 million after they developed him into a star.
Nicolás Otamendi (CB, £13.6m): The General went the other way as part of the Dias deal, and given his struggles in recent seasons, the time felt right for both parties to move on, but his 2017/18 campaign was one to truly remember. He never quite hit the highs of expectation over a consistent stretch of years, making his sky blue legacy an interesting and debatable question.
Tosin Adarabioyo (CB, £2m): In one of the most laughable deals I have seen in some time, City let a young, local, physical English defender who was brilliant in the Championship go for just £2 million. Give the reports that there is no buy-back clause, this is a laughably bad bit of business, and the team would have been far better off with a loan or simply keeping the player.
Claudio Bravo (GK, Free): Another City veteran departed the club on mutual terms after an inconsistent spell at the club. After a poor start to life in his lone season as the team’s first-choice goalkeeper, he put together some memorable cup runs, but the time is right for Zack Steffen to truly challenge Ederson.
Angeliño (LB, Loan, £16m buy option): City let their second-best left-back go for well below his value, as this deal will almost certainly become permanent, and immediately regretted it. I have believed for some time that the Spaniard would be a better choice than Benjamin Mendy or Oleksandr Zinchenko, but City shoved him out the door as fast as possible and have paid the price.
Verdict: Overall, City’s window has been a mixed bag. They have done some good deals, but missed opportunities for real bargains such as Thiago, Alex Telles, or Edinson Cavani to address real areas of issue while also failing to sell Eric García, losing the club millions. The deals for Angeliño and Adarabioyo were simply terrible value. (C)