With Manchester City's defence looking unsteady at times this season and individual mistakes costing the blues both goals and points, does the back line need reinforcing this summer or can the answers be found a little closer to home?
Eliaquim Mangala was drafted into the Champions squad during the summer in a £32m deal from Porto to add both youth and experience to what was in general a solid back line. Regarded as the man to be the natural successor to Martin Demichellis as Vincent Kompany defensive partner, on paper at least Mangala was the perfect man for the job,
Unfortunately so far it hasn't worked out quite as City would have hoped with the Frenchman taking time to adjust to the English game, much like Demichellis himself last season. City will hope that history will repeat itself and there new man finish the season strongly like his predecessor.
Due to the inconsistent showings from the former Porto man the club are frequently linked with moves for new centre back's across Europe, most notably Real Madrid duo Pepe and Raphael Varane, Dortmund's Mats Hummels and Southampton's on loan Atletico Madrid defender Toby Alderweireld.
With Demichellis looking likely to be heading out of The Etihad when his contract ends this summer and Dedryck Boyata failing to impress when called upon, there does seem to be a real need to bolster the defensive area.
Give Youth A Chance?
Instead of spending lavishly, however, the answer could be found without spending a penny. Jason Denayer and Karim Rekik are edging out a reputation for themselves with some very impressive performances while out on loan at Celtic and PSV respectively.
Rekik who is in his second season on loan with Eindhoven was called up to the provisional Dutch World Cup squad at the tender age of 19 but narrowly missed the final cut.
With his ability to play both left sided centre half and left back his versatility could prove to be a real asset. His leadership skills have also been on show as he has captained his national side at different age groups and has also captained PSV during his loan spell.
Jason Denayer is the one that has really caught the eye of late with impressive displays for the Glasgow giants in Europe this season. His assured performances have drawn comparisons to fellow Belgian and City skipper Vincent Kompany, a player who he has a lot of respect for and his ambition to prove himself at City seems clear.
He said: “I hope next season to be ready to play for City. If I ever get the chance to play with Vincent Kompany then I know I will have made it. My view is that I will return to City next season.”
The balancing act for these players is being able to get enough game time to continue their development. Their loan spells have clearly allowed the talented duo to come on as players and a return to City would have to be with the possibility of continuing that development, otherwise further loans may be the best option for them.
This would mean City would have to bring someone in which could block the route to the first team and run the risk of losing the pair permanently.
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