Man City just recently placed 2nd in the 2019/20 premier league season with 81 points.They were behind Liverpool, who had 99 points. Man City had won the EPL the previous two years. Last year was a much closer battle for first place. Man city had 98 points while Liverpool had 97 points. This year was tough for Man city due to the lack of healthy players and the quality of their center backs.
Man city has a limited number of center backs. Throughout the shortened season they had to have many center defensive midfielders play out of position to fill a gap in the center back position due to injuries. In the beginning of the season Man City's best center back, Aymeric Laporte, suffered a very serious knee injury while playing in an EPL game against Brighton on August 31, 2019. Laporte then came back in January and played 3 games before suffering another injury and now has been out for the past 5 months. He was supposed to be able to start playing after the restart of the EPL but he wasn’t ready. Laporte is scheduled to make an appearance against Real Madrid in the Champions league on August 7th. Having Laporte back for this game could be a great turn around for Man City's defense. The only problem with this is that Man city plays with 4 defenders, they play with two center backs, a right back and a left back. This means with Laporte returning there is still one spot to fill for the center back position. As of right now in Man City's line up they only have 2 center backs who could fill the other available spot. These players are John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi. Eric Garcia who is only 19 years old, would have been an option if he was not injured in the first game of the restart.
John Stones has been very inconsistent and lacks some defensive skills such as agility, pace and being able to tackle forwards. This really is not all John Stones’s fault, his manager Pep Guardiola has not given him the resources to make him a better player. Pep has put Stones in a hard position by having him play in very competitive games without the proper training and experience. This does not reflect well on either of them.
Nicolas Otamendi has played for Man city since 2015. Otamendi has been a starter and played alongside Vincent Kompany for a long time. Otamendi has been struggling to get into the starting lineup. This year he only played 24 games and last year he only played 18 games. Otamendi is getting old (he is 32 years old) and will likely retire soon. I don't think he is the answer for the starting center back role. He has a very good defensive mind and is overall very good but when you get older you start to lose some abilities like pace, agility and passing which can’t happen in the back and will cause Man city to let goals in.
These factors lead to the decision that Man City likely needs to buy a new Center Back. The only way that Man City can buy a new Center Back is the summer transfer window. The summer transfer window is a chance for teams to buy players from around the world to make their squad better. Man City has their eye on two center backs such as Kalidou Koulibaly, who plays in Italy, and Nathan Ake, who plays in England, both had great seasons. Koulibaly has been outstanding and has been one of the top center backs in the world. The issue with this transfer is that Koulibaly’s current team, Napoli, is asking for a price of around 80 million euros. Man City can’t promise that much money. Nathan Ake on the other hand, plays for Bournemouth who just recently got relegated from the Premier League and has received a lot of bids from other teams to buy Ake. Bournemouth has an asking price for Ake of around 35 million euros which is much cheaper than Koulibaly. Ake might be more prepared to play for Man city because he has been playing in England since 2012. Overall Man City will still be a top tier team but with a center back transfer it will improve their chances to win the premier league.