Manchester City are the latest entrant in the transfer race for Ajax star Noussair Mazraoui.
Noussair Mazraoui, 24, has been a mainstay in Erik Ten Hag’s Ajax side this season, having netted three goals and supplied four assists in 16 games across all competitions. The Moroccan international’s contract with the Eredivisie club is set to expire at the end of the season and with no deal agreed, there is an air of certainty that he will leave the club on a free transfer.
The 24-year-old full-back’s eye-catching displays this season plus his contractual situation has seen him attract a lot of interest from clubs across Europe. Manchester City have now joined the likes of Arsenal and Leeds United among others in the pursuit of Mazraoui, who has come through the ranks at Ajax after joining their academy at the age of nine.
Man City’s Kyle Walker needs competition and cover
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is well-stocked as far as the full-back unit goes, but he lacks a quality cover.
Joao Cancelo has been tremendous this season playing at left-back, demonstrating his attacking prowess and defensive nous in equal measure. The Portuguese full-back was excellent in Manchester City’s 2-0 derby win over Manchester United earlier this month, bagging assists for both goals.
Guardiola’s preference to play Cancelo at left-back has left Kyle Walker as the only recognised option at right-back. Walker, just like Cancelo, offers a lot going forward whilst being defensively solid, and his durability for the Sky Blues since signing from Tottenham in 2017 has been impressive.
Not to forget, the England international will turn 32 in May, so it may not be a bad idea for Guardiola to ease some pressure off Walker’s shoulders by signing a top-quality right-back.
Noussair Mazraoui would be a top addition to the Sky Blues
Noussair Mazraoui is a highly-rated full-back who has done very well for Ajax since breaking into the senior side five seasons ago, racking up over 100 appearances for the Eredivisie giants.
The 24-year-old likes to bomb up and down the right flank and create opportunities for his teammates with short, crisp passes or crossing ability. He is a solid player who is a progressive passer of the ball, has a good turn of pace and has the versatility to operate in midfield when required. The Moroccan has also honed his defensive game under Ten Hag in the last few seasons.
Due to him being an attack-minded full-back with good reading of the game, Mazraoui fits the bill perfectly at Manchester City. He is out of contract at Ajax in 2022, and at 24, could provide the Cityzens with many seasons at the highest level. The Moroccan international would add depth to a key area in Guardiola’s side, whilst being the long-term successor to Walker at right-back.
On a potential free transfer next summer, Mazraoui would represent a massive coup for Man City if they can convince him to reject other clubs and join them.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.