Not so long ago Pep had lamented his ageing Manchester City full-backs with most of them being on the wrong side of 30. Also, with Zabaleta leaving the club this summer, the Spanish technician will be looking for reinforcements to bolster his squad for next season.
It is not unknown to football fans and pundits alike that Pep’s style of playing involves attacking full-backs with good passing ability who could contribute to the team’s offence as well run down and defend.
Having said that, the centre-backs are also key. Often, the defenders have failed to remain in sync with the full-backs and have made far too many errors. So, City could strengthen in that area as well.
Rumours have surfaced linking Toulouse centre-back Issa Diop to Blue half of Manchester. At just 20 years old, he has had a sensational start to his career and has already made 30 first team appearance with the Ligue 1 side this season. Standing at 6’4 he projects a commendable figure in the heart of defence.
Having a market value of €4m the French International is poised to be one of the greatest. With his present contract with Toulouse tying him to the club till 2020 the reported transfer value has been estimated to be around €20m.
Issa Diop – Player Stats
Starting his senior career at just 18 years of age, the French International has firmly established himself as a first-team choice. With applauds and praise heading the youngster’s way, we could only hope he would get better in the coming years. Let us have a look at his Stats this season:
- The player has started 30 games for Toulouse accumulating an astounding 2700 mins on the field. A remarkable achievement for a youngster of his age.
- Diop has a tackle success percentage of almost 72% which goes to show he has the right fusion of composure and aggression required to defend.
- As is evident from his physical stature the Frenchman has an aerial duel success rate of 63%.
- Also with 2 goals, 2 assists and a pass success rate of 74% in the league he could easily compete with the best there is.
What will he bring to the Club?
The youngster would infuse some energy and stability to the back line. Also, being just 20, he could provide a long-term solution for Pep in filling the gaping defensive hole occurring at the back.
With good aerial skills and a solid right foot, he could eventually partner with Stones at the back forming a formidable defensive pairing. Showcasing extraordinary skill and potential at a tender age of 20, one could easily predict the development and growth that he would have as a player under the guidance of Guardiola.
Worth the money?
For €20m, it would be a bargain of a buy for Pep if he manages to seal the young Frenchman’s signature. With Kompany’s age and injury record, he could be his long-term replacement at the back. Pep hasn’t managed to plug his holes in the defence that has seen them concede an astounding 39 goals, 10 more than their 6th place arch-rivals Man Utd. It would be no surprise if Pep goes all out for this youngster in the summer. Safe to stay he would be a treat for the Citizens to watch him pair with Stones at the back.