Pep Guardiola has already spent big money this summer. By buying Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo, Manchester City have strengthened their defence. However, the latest reports say that Pep Guardiola wants to add another defender as a backup centre half.
City has been trying to lure Johnny Evans from West Brom. The deal could not be finalised, as West Brom’s valuation of the defender did not match City’s offer. This has made City look for other options in the market.
It is said, that Pep’s team are trying to sign Middlesbrough’s centre-back Ben Gibson. The defender played every single match in the Premier League last year.
Ben Gibson was Middlesbrough’s first choice centre-back last season. He had excellent statistics and was one of Middlesbrough’s main players. Gibson made 31 tackles during the course of the season. The centre-back had a 71% tackle success rate and guarded his team’s backline well. On an average, Ben Gibson made 1.5 interceptions in every match.
His ball recovery skills were excellent as he recovered the ball 135 times in those 38 matches. The English centre-back won 1.60 aerial battles in every game which means he could add a lot more to the City defence who aren’t exactly the best when it comes to defending set pieces.
What does he offer to Manchester City?
Manchester City will most probably play with a 3-4-1-2 formation for the better part of the season. They do not have enough backup defenders to play in a three-man defence. There expensive signings of Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones have not yielded expected results. John Stones, in particular, has looked vulnerable since his switch to the blue half of Manchester. Ben Gibson’s playing style is very suitable to the Premier League. He has been playing in England for a long time. He knows what it takes to constantly play in the first team.
In a three-man defence, City’s centre halves would have to defend all by themselves. Their full-backs tend to play in a more advanced position. Hence, Guardiola would need someone with good game awareness to step in the field.
Though Gibson’s crossing skills are not up to the mark, he makes up for it with good knowledge of the game. He never missed a single game in the Premier League. This speaks volumes of his fitness levels.
Is he worth signing?
Vincent Kompany may be one of the best centre-backs in the world, but his injury woes are not unknown. Jonny Evans valuation by West Brom is way too much for a decent defender. Due to these cases, Manchester City would be better off signing Ben Gibson at a much lower price.
They can add much depth to their defence. Moreover, Gibson would get an opportunity to make a permanent switch to the top-tier of English football. However, this deal can fall through as Gibson’s uncle Steve Gibson is the current chairperson of Middlesbrough football club.