Why Manchester City should go all out to sign Alex Grimaldo in January
Ben Chilwell, 22, has been in fine form for Leicester City this season, making 17 Premier League appearances so far. The left-back’s form has seen him make his England debut and win five caps this year as well.
The England international’s performances this term have not gone unnoticed, with champions Manchester City targeting the left-back position in the upcoming transfer window due to Benjamin Mendy’s injury.
Benjamin Mendy has endured a frustrating, injury-prone 18 months at City since moving from AS Monaco last summer. In the Frenchman’s absence due to a knee injury, Pep Guardiola has used midfielders Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko there, while central defender Aymeric Laporte has also filled in at left-back.
With City going toe-to-toe with Liverpool for winning the Premier League title this season, solving the left-back conundrum is a must for Guardiola. With that in mind, the Spanish tactician should target Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo instead of Ben Chilwell as luring the England international away would be difficult given the fact that he has signed a new long-term deal with Leicester until 2024.
Alex Grimaldo, 23, is a very well-known face to Guardiola since he’s come through the youth setup at Barcelona. However, the Spanish left-back failed to break into the first-team and joined Benfica in January 2016. And since then, he has established himself as one of the finest left-backs in Portugal, guiding Benfica to two league titles and the Taca de Portugal.
Now that Alex Grimaldo has grown leaps and bounds since leaving Barcelona, January could be the right time for Guardiola to sign him for City. In Grimaldo, City would get a highly explosive, flying left-back who can create plenty of chances for his teammates.
He has all the traits of a modern-day full-back with his excellent pace, technique and dribbling skills, which should make him a perfect fit for Emery’s system.
While he has shown the inclination to support the attack with powerful overlapping runs, the Spaniard also has the defensive qualities that make him very hard to beat out wide. Furthermore, he has a sound positional sense and his tactical awareness is also of the highest quality.
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Suffice to say, City need another quality left-back to provide cover and competition for Mendy. And Grimaldo certainly has all the attributes to be a smash hit at City and develop into one of the best left-backs in the world under the watchful eyes of Guardiola.