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Manchester City couldn’t have gotten off to a better start to the 2017-18 campaign. There were a lot of detractors out there, waiting to draw their daggers out after Pep Guardiola’s summer of huge outlay, as the club invested heavily in signing three full-backs in the form of Danilo, Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy, along with two more big money captures in the form of Bernardo Silva and Ederson Moraes.
However, the way the new signings have hit the ground running for the Sky Blues, with the brand of football that has been on display, it hasn’t taken long for people to brand them as the favourites for the Premier League title. And rightly so, as Guardiola’s Citizens sit on top of the table with 19 points after seven weeks of action, with the record of most goals scored this campaign (22) and the least conceded (2) as well.
All the new signings have made a huge impact since coming in to the club and so it was a bit of a bad blow for the club when it was revealed that left-back Mendy will be ruled out for 2 months after he ruptured his ACL. The 23-year old played five games for the Mancunian outfit before the injury, in which he registered a single assist and endeared himself to the supporters with some powerful displays at left-back.
So his absence due to injury will be felt by the club as they look to mount a challenge on multiple fronts this season. City have had to use midfielder Fabian Delph in a makeshift role as the left-sided full-back in the last few games and while the England international hasn’t looked out of depth, much sterner tests await him and he doesn’t represent an ideal solution at all.
As a result, signing a new left-back when the January transfer window opens will be imperative for City and one name who they should definitely take a serious look at is Celtic’s Kieran Tierney. The 20-year old has been on the radar of the club in the past according to reports and the Mendy situation should make them revive their interest in the young left-back.
The £10m rated Scottish ace has been by far the best left-back in the Scottish Premiership for the past couple of seasons and was extremely crucial to Celtic’s domestic success last season when they landed a treble and went the whole season without being beaten. He has carried on in a similar vein of form in the ongoing campaign as well. In 17 games in all competitions this term, the youngster has managed one goal and three assists for the Bhoys.
A modern day, attack-minded full-back, Tierney has all the requisite qualities to grow into one of the best in his position. Good pace and dribbling, combined with natural attacking instincts and the ability to hit accurate crosses into the box make him a great outlet down the left-flank. He has the eye for an odd goal as well. Defensively, he is sound and assured, and his speed allows him to cover the ground quickly and get into good positions if there is a change of possession during the forward forays.
Tierney, despite his young age, has displayed great maturity and understanding of the game, which has prompted Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers to use him as a centre-back in a three-man backline on occasions. He has performed admirably there. His versatility is further highlighted by the fact that he has been asked to play as a right-back for the Scotland national team. While he might not be the same attacking force as he is on the opposite flank, he has fared very well defensively.
Tierney, at 20, is at the right age to be groomed and developed into a star player and under the watchful eye of Guardiola, he could flourish boundlessly. It is no secret that City wanted to sign two left-backs in the summer, but missing out on Dani Alves’ free transfer meant they had to readjust their budget. However, investing on the Scottish international will get them one of the brightest young stars in the game and lead them to having an even more enviable full-back contingent. He might be cup-tied in the UEFA Champions League, but having Tierney in the ranks could further strengthen City’s credentials as top favourites for the Premier League title.