Manchester City keeping tabs on Ajax starlet Nicolas Tagliafico

Pep Guardiola wants to strengthen the left-back position.

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According to a report from Manchester Evening News, Manchester City are reportedly monitoring Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico as Pep Guardiola aims to strengthen the left-back position. The left-back spot has been a let-down for Cityzens this term, with Benjamin Mendy and Oleksandr Zinchenko not playing at their level best. Guardiola looks to have identified Tagliafico as the perfect candidate to reinforce the full-back void. The Argentine is said to be looking for green pastures next season, confirmed earlier by Ajax manager Erik ten Hag. Chelsea are the only club who have invested a strong interest in Tagliafico.

Tagliafico joined the Amsterdam-based outfit from Independente in 2018, and his impact was seen straight away. The 27-year-old was part of Ajax’s side that went on to reach the semi-finals of the UCL competitions, defeating top clubs like Real Madrid and Juventus in the process. Tagliafico racked up a total of 6 goals and 6 assists in that season, where Ajax ended up lifting the domestic double. He has also been impressive this term – 5 goals and 7 assists – although Ajax were restricted to Eredivisie title. Tagliafico was one of the many starlets – influential in Ajax’s fairy tale in UCL – expected to leave the Johan Cryuff Arena, but that wasn’t the case. While Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Hakim Ziyech had sought a new destination, players like Donny van de Beek and Tagliafico are tipped to be the next.

Manchester City have had a tough time in sorting out the best left-back this season as the pair of Zinchenko and Mendy have been inconsistent this season, although the latter was the preferred starter. Since it is Mendy’s most active season in years ( although suffering a knee injury at the start), it has been difficult for him to be at his best. Zinchenko has proven to be a good substitute, but he lacks the confidence and the attacking instinct of the French man. 

Tagliafico would be an interesting option for the Sky Blues as his tailor-made for the style of play Guardiola implements in the Premier League. The Argentine falls into the category of modern-day full-back, excelling in both the defence and the attack. He has also made the left-back position his own at the Argentine national side, having already earned 25 caps.

Man City recently saw their transfer ban getting overturned, which will allow them to be active in the transfer market. Going forward, Defense will be the area Guardiola would look to mend ahead of next season. City are now focusing on the FA Cup and the Champions League after failing to defend their Premier League title this term.

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