Ukrainian Oleksandr Zinchenko joined City in July 2016 for just £1.5 million in a deal that didn’t garner much attention in the Premier League.
Fast forward five years and the signing has proved to be one of Guardiola’s biggest bargains.
The former Barcelona boss has developed Zinchenko from a promising playmaker into a solid inverted full-back, a turnaround that few would have expected.
However, it is clear that Zinchenko is not on the same level as the likes of Alphonso Davies at Bayern Munich or Andy Robertson at Liverpool.
Therefore, the left-back position could be one that Guardiola decided to upgrade on this summer.
Think left-back is a key area of improvement for City? Let us know in the comments here.
Here, we’ve detailed three left-backs that City should target in a bid to improve their already star-studded squad.
City have a history of poaching Arsenal’s full-backs, buying French defenders Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna from the Gunners in 2011 and 2014 respectively and Tierney could be the next player to make the switch from North London to Manchester.
The Scot has showcased his incredible offensive ability during his time at Arsenal, finishing with the second-most key passes for the Gunners during their 2020/21 Premier League, a statistic that is even more impressive considering he played the opening part of the season as a centre-back in a back three.
At only 24-years-old, Tierney would be a great addition to the City squad given his attacking threat and proven ability to perform consistently in the English top-flight.
Portuguese defender Nuno Mendes has also been reportedly on Guardiola’s radar ahead of this summer’s transfer window.
Mendes, 18, impressed a host of European’s elite clubs this season after featuring 35 times last term to help Sporting win their first Portuguese league title since 2002.
His underlying statistics during the 2020/21 Primeira Liga campaign were also excellent, averaging 1.7 tackles, 2.1 interceptions and 1.1 key passes per game. Comparatively, Zinchenko averaged 1.3 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 0.8 key passes per match in the 20/21 Premier League season.
The fullback’s performances were so standout that he has even earned a place in Portugal’s Euro 2020 squad this summer, an impressive feat considering he is still a teenager.
Former Croatian under-21 international Borna Sosa would likely be the cheapest player on this list given he isn’t as big a name as the other two.
However, the Stuttgart defender staked his claim as one of Europe’s most underrated left-backs throughout the 2020/21 season.
Sosa was often utilised as a left-wing-back in Stuttgart’s 3-4-2-1 system, tasked with carrying the creative burden for the German side, something he did not struggle with, bagging nine Bundesliga assists, superb numbers for a defender.
Guardiola could pick up the 23-year-old, who could be a hidden gem in this summer’s transfer market considering Transfermarkt estimates his value at just £10.8 million.
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