How Man City could look next season with Erling Haaland, Harry Kane or Romelu Lukaku tipped to lead new era and Jack Grealish also linked March 31, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer
It feels wrong to suggest the departure of a legend like Sergio Aguero could spark exciting times at Manchester City – but it’s true.
If this season has signalled the start of something new at the Etihad, following the departures of David Silva and Vincent Kompany in recent years, Aguero’s exit well and truly marks the end of an era.
The last remaining player from that spectacular last-gasp title win in 2012 will call time on his glittering decade at the Etihad this summer, meaning Pep Guardiola needs a new striker.
They’ll need someone special to replace Aguero’s 257 goals scored over the past ten years and fortunately for City, this is a club backed by the royal family of Abu Dhabi.
No striker is out of Man City’s reach thanks to the financial power of owner Sheikh Mansour, while Aguero’s departure also presents an enticing vacancy for the world’s best – who won’t settle for any less than regular first-team action.
Spare a thought for Gabriel Jesus, though, who has waited years to inherit Aguero’s spot, only to see Erling Haaland, Harry Kane and Romelu Lukaku linked with the role instead.
It’s frightening to think what City could achieve with any one of those three powerhouses up front, given their success this season.
Guardiola’s side are running away with the Premier League title, while still competing in all three cup competitions to entertain hopes of a spectacular quadruple – and Aguero hasn’t really been needed.
As City search for the next forward to spearhead this exciting new chapter, talkSPORT.com has a look at how Guardiola’s side could line-up next season…
4-3-3 with Haaland
It is widely thought that City will go all-out for the Borussia Dortmund sensation this summer.
The 20-year-old striker is arguably the most wanted prospect in world football right now and every top club has been linked with his signature.
Haaland is likely to cost around £150million this summer and his wages could cost up to £600k-a-week, meaning City are among a select few clubs who can afford him.
Like Aguero, Haaland isn’t necessarily your classic Guardiola-type player, but the Norwegian’s sensation goal record means there is a place for him in any top side.
Similarly to City, Dortmund have used numerous formations this season but their most common is the 4-3-3.
While the German side would perhaps be quicker to get the ball into Haaland and more direct in general, their system contains similar parts to City, with creativity coming from midfield to service three ruthless forwards.
Haaland could certainly find a way to thrive in this team.
4-2-3-1 with Kane
If City can’t get their hands on Haaland, The Times reports that Tottenham talisman Kane could be next on their list.
He would also command an astronomical fee and at 27, the England captain is significantly older than Haaland.
The Spurs man has a proven record in the Premier League with 160 goals in 234 appearances since he made his league debut nine years ago.
While Kane has shown his all-round ability this season, dropping deeper and chipping in with assists as well as goals, Tottenham play a completely different style to City.
Kane is rarely asked to press with the same intensity that Guardiola demands from his forwards, something Aguero was forced to learn when the Spaniard first arrived at City.
However, with his defensive contributions this season, Kane has shown he could easily meet Guardiola’s needs, even if it is a big jump from Jose Mourinho’s philosophy.
For most of his Tottenham career, Kane has led a 4-2-3-1 formation, which is probably Guardiola’s second-most used at the Etihad.
That would also bring an extra midfielder to help with the press, should Guardiola have any concerns.
4-1-4-1 with Lukaku and Grealish
The suggestion that City will sign another playmaker, with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden already in their ranks, borders on outrageous.
But that hasn’t stopped them in the past, just look at their current plethora of wingers and centre-backs.
It seems likely that a move for Jack Grealish would be ruled out if City are forced to spend upwards of £150m on a striker, but a slightly cheaper option could open the door.
Eurosport claim Lukaku, the Inter man starring in Italy after his move from Manchester United, is also on their list of potential targets up front.
The Belgian has formed an incredible partnership with Lautaro Martinez at Inter as they charge towards the Serie A title under Antonio Conte.
Grealish plays a similar role to Martinez at Aston Villa, supporting Ollie Watkins in a No. 10 role, occupying that space in between the opposition defence and midfield.
The thought of Lukaku and Grealish being thrown into a similar partnership would strike fear into any side.