The manager of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has insisted that he needs a striker at the club ahead of the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium.
Later today, March 6, 2022, Manchester United will visit the Etihad Stadium for the second Manchester derby of the 2021-2022 season. Recall that the first derby of the season which took place on November 6, 2021, ended in a 2-0 victory in favor of City.
Apart from winning the second leg for bragging rights, Manchester City need the maximum three points from the Premier League game to stay at the top of the league table.
Pep Guardiola and his boys are leading the table with just three points ahead of the second-placed Liverpool football club which means that a little slip could cost them the title.
Unfortunately for Guardiola, Manchester City will have to face a Manchester United side that has picked an incredible form in recent time. United are currently enjoying eight league games unbeaten run (four draws and four wins) which is currently the highest run without a defeat in the Premier League this season.
Hence, Pep Guardiola and his boys are currently in a very tied corner which could consume them if care is not taken. A defeat in the game could see Liverpool jump to the first spot while City relegates to second. While a draw will leave City with just a point lead over Liverpool.
Ahead of the all-important Manchester derby, the Spanish tactician noted how desperately Manchester City need a striker, stressing that the club would try to get one.
“I think the club needs a striker, definitely,” Guardiola said.
“You say we play fantastically well without a striker because we are winning. When we are not winning, you say we need a striker.
“[You say] ‘how do these guys play without a striker? In the Premier League, you have to play with a striker’.
“So, we need a striker, I think the club is going to try.”
Do Pep Guardiola and Manchester City need a striker?
Just like the comments of Pep Guardiola above, it is tempting to wonder how Manchester City have been playing and winning games without a natural striker.
So far this season, Manchester City have been able to score a whopping 64 goals in the Premier League without a natural striker. Almost every player in the first eleven contributed to the total number of goals the club has scored so far.
Only Liverpool that are currently occupying the second spot on the league table have scored more goals than Manchester City so far. Coach Jurgen Klopp and his boys have scored a whopping 71 league goals this season.
Liverpool’s goalscoring record is not a surprise because the club has one of the best set of attackers in the world – Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Diego Jota, and now, Luis Diaz.
As for Manchester City, coach Pep Guardiola ought to have one natural striker, Gabriel Jesus, but he uses the 24-year-old Brazilian footballer as a winger instead.
Hence, no matter how many goals Manchester City scores as a team, the Premier League side will continue to need a proven striker until they buy one.
Who will Manchester City sign to solve the club’s striker issue?
During the winter transfer window, Manchester City signed Argentina international forward Julian Alvarez. Afterward, City permitted the 22-year-old striker to remain at Argentine club River Plate on loan until the end of the 2021-2022 season.
Alvarez is a player for the future for Manchester City. Unfortunately, the reigning Premier League champions are not a side that can wait. Hence, they desperately need to sign a proven striker.
Recall that ahead of the 2021-2022 season, Manchester City tried to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur but the club rejected City’s four attempts according to coach Guardiola.
Afterward, City settled for Jack Grealish who has not been able to establish himself at City despite costing City a British transfer record fee worth £100 million.
So, the options are, Manchester City might decide to return to Tottenham to lure Kane to the club or focus on signing the most sought-after striker in the world, Erling Braut Haaland from Borussia Dortmund next summer.