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Man City begin 2022/23 season on Saturday and Guardiola hasn’t signed a left-back [Opinion]

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Manchester City have returned from their pre-season tour of the United States and begin the new season on Saturday with a Community Shield final against Liverpool, but Pep Guardiola still hasn’t signed a left-back.

City have been linked with Marc Cucurella for weeks, but they can’t see eye-to-eye with Brighton & Hove Albion on a transfer fee. City had an opening bid of £30m rejected and were told to pay £50m for the 24-year-old, but it remains to be seen if they’ll cave in.

Where will Manchester City finish in the Premier League this season?

1st

1st

2nd

2nd

3rd

3rd

4th

4th

5th or lower

5th or lower

Benjamin Mendy has been suspended for nearly a year following allegations of sexual assault and rape, but a replacement left-back wasn’t lined up in 2021. Instead, Joao Cancelo operated in a makeshift role for most of the season while Oleksandr Zinchenko was his deputy.

Zinchenko has since left City to join Arsenal, so Guardiola doesn’t have a first-team left-back to call upon. Josh Wilson-Esbrand is an option for Pep and greatly impressed in pre-season, but he’s on 19 years of age and has just one senior appearance to his name. It’s a big risk.

So long as Kyle Walker stays fit, he can start at right-back to allow Cancelo on the left, but Guardiola will be in trouble if either player picks up a knock. Callin upon Aymeric Laporte or Nathan Ake to play out wide isn’t ideal, so the City manager needs two left-sided defenders.

After the Community Shield final, City lock horns with West Ham United on August 7. Will Cucurella be confirmed by then?

In other news, Liam Delap told to ‘stay’ at Manchester City amid interest from Southampton

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Sports journalist who is an avid football fan, enjoys debunking transfer rumours, loves to write pieces about players out in the cold and takes a large amount of pride getting a predicted XI 100% correct.

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