Not many football clubs can afford playing critical matches in the premier league without a known natural striker; even those who played with a striker are not assured of victory, let alone those who do not. It is interesting to know that one club does: Manchester City. A club I love watching play because of their style of play – positive football; as well as, the vibrant, unapologetic serial winner manager they have at the helms of affair.
Playing without a natural nine
In about two seasons running, Manchester City football club has played majority of her matches without a known natural striker. A case worsen by the departure of veteran player and prolific goal scorer: Sergio Aguero. The only known striker available – Gabriel Jesus is now a winger, a position he is doing well in. For instance in just 24 league match appearances, he has 7 goals and 8 assist to his credit. Just last weekend, he scored four goals and provided an assist against Watford.
As it stands, the providers of goals have turned to goal scorers themselves; the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Rihad Mahrez and Phil Foden have been most proficient. Kevin De Bruyne and Rihad Mahrez leading the pack with 11 goals each. Thus far, this season alone, Manchester City have 16 different goal scorers in the English Premier league alone.
We still need a natural striker
Though the team is doing well, it however remain crystal clear that the team need a natural striker. The coaching crew are aware. This was obvious with their pursuit of Tottenham’s Harry Kane last summer. Same Harry Kane scored a brace in the match against Tottenham on 19th February, 2022. The fact that he scored the winning goal on the 95th minute in front of Manchester City’s home fans reminded everyone of what the team is missing in not having a natural number nine player.
The need for a natural nine is obvious in important matches. Many of the goal scoring chances created often go begging because there is no player with such natural ability. This was clearly the case in last season’s Champions league final.
More importantly, the current tight race we are in with Liverpool for the Premier league title further highlight the need for this. As fans, we are assured that many clear cut chances will be created during matches, but will they be converted to goals? To clinch the title, goals must be scored, as that is the only assurance for winning matches; a worry we would not have if we have a goal poacher.
In January 2022, the team secured the signing of 23 year old Julian Alvares but he will not arrive Ethihad until the next summer for 2022/23 campaign. More so, there are still noteworthy known prolific goal scorers who would be available in the next transfer window. Players such as Erling Haaland, Harry Kane and Robert Lewandoski. A pursuit of any of this will enhance Manchester City’s chances of more successful campaigns.