Why Manchester City have missed a trick by not signing Leonardo Bonucci
According to a report from Manchester Evening News, Manchester City were interested in signing Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci this summer. However, a deal never materialised during the summer transfer window.
Manchester City made a few signings to strengthen their squad, with two of the most important buys being Rodri and Joao Cancelo.
Pep Guardiola has finally got a successor for Fernandinho in Rodri, who made his debut for City in their 2019/20 season opener’s thumping 5-0 victory over West Ham at the London Stadium on Saturday. Meanwhile, Cancelo was an unused substitute on the bench.
Guardiola’s side showed against West Ham as to why they are once again the prime contenders for the Premier League title. The City forwards were ruthless and clinical in front of goal, while the defenders did well to keep a clean sheet.
Aymeric Laporte has fixed his position as an indispensable starter but the real concerns are with his partner John Stones, who was at times sloppy in possession and gifted the ball away a couple of times to West Ham.
City have a well-oiled squad to retain the Premier League title and also challenge for the Champions League, but they have certainly taken a big gamble of entering the new campaign without replacing their former skipper Vincent Kompany.
Kompany earned cult status at the Etihad, having won four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and four League Cups during his 11-year stay. And his departure has left a huge void in City’s squad, which Guardiola should have addressed by bringing in Leonardo Bonucci.
Bonucci, 32, returned from an ill-fated stint at AC Milan and resumed his partnership with Giorgio Chiellini at the heart of the Juventus defence last season. But the signing of the highly-rated Matthijs De Ligt has made Bonucci’s future less certain than that of Chiellini at the Juventus Stadium.
In Bonucci, Guardiola could have landed one of the best ball-playing defenders in world football. The Italy international is a real leader and a fantastic organiser of the backline. He possesses attributes like playing precise long balls under pressure and positional awareness, thus making him a tailor-made option for Guardiola’s style of play.
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The 32-year-old is a serial winner and has a wealth of club and international experience. He was more than capable of bolstering City’s defence and replacing Kompany on a temporary basis.
Bonucci is 32 but he still has a lot to offer at the highest level. Given Juventus’ array of defensive options, City should have acquired the services of the experienced Italian, who could have also boosted Guardiola’s hopes of winning the coveted Champions League trophy.