According to Mirror, Manchester City are monitoring the progress of Real Betis starlet Junior Firpo. The left-back has impressed in the Spanish top flight this season, scoring three goals in 15 matches.
City, on the other hand, are keen to bolster their defensive options this January, although they could face stiff competition, with Real Madrid also interested in the services of the 22-year-old.
But, is Firpo a viable target for the Sky Blues?
Junior Firpo: Player Profile
A product of the Betis youth academy, Firpo earned his promotion to the first team at the backend of last season and since then, the 22-year-old has become an ever-present figure in the Betis backline.
As far as his gameplay is concerned, Firpo is advertised as an all-round defender, who is equally good at both ends of the pitch. Indeed, the Spaniard has acquired balanced statistics in almost every aspect of the game, notably averaging one interception and 1.7 tackles while winning 1.5 aerial duels per game.
Offensively, Firpo can provide the additional support in the final third, averaging almost one key pass per game whilst making 1.7 dribbles, which isn’t a bad reading for a fullback.
However, what makes Firpo such a sought-after talent is his versatility. The Betis star, aside from playing in his customary left-back position, can also be slotted in as a centre-back and even as a left-winger.
That being said, his crossing accuracy needs some polishing as that is an area he can improve upon.
Should Pep Make A Move For The Player?
It goes without saying that Manchester City lack resources in the fullback department, especially on the left, with Benjamin Mendy being the only conventional option for Pep Guardiola. Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko are makeshift options but have never really looked convincing in this role.
Speaking of Mendy, the Frenchman has struggled with injuries for the most part of his time in England missing innumerable crucial fixtures. Therefore, the addition of someone like Firpo could offer excellent depth in the left-back department.
And the fact that the 22-year-old is an all-round player, who can contribute to both defence as well as offence makes him an ideal back-up for Mendy. Furthermore, Firpo can also be used in several different positions across the pitch, offering Guardiola with added flexibility as far as his tactical options are concerned.
On the flip side, however, Firpo could certainly cost a fortune for Manchester City. He is regarded as one of Spain’s most talented young players at the moment.
City have spent handsomely to fortify their defence in recent times and with central midfield an obvious area needed to be tended to, spending a rumoured sum of €50m doesn’t seem to be the decision which should be taken right now.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored