Marc Cucurella’s hunt stalled leaves Manchester City’s attack in danger of being undermined

Liverpool have shown Manchester City that they are ready to come back again this season. City, for the time being, will have to face him with only two first-team full-backs.

Jurgen Klopp’s side snatched the Community Shield with three goals created from a battered right wing – and Mohamed Salah’s championship was on them.

It took three minutes into the match for the Egyptian to tell Joao Cancelo he could. Salah dribbled past Cancelo with a simple right-footed touch, but then fired a shot into the side net.

The Portuguese defender suffered especially in the first 20 minutes of the match, which ended with Salah’s help in Alexander-Arnold’s opener. Al-Masry participated in 32 passes in the whole match. He passed it with an accuracy of 94 percent, and only two of them failed.

Salah also scored the second goal for Liverpool from a penalty kick and a cross that ended with Nunez scoring the third goal for Klopp’s team.

In depth, he has unveiled the biggest flaw Pep Guardiola will need to fix before the transfer window closes: Having Cancelo and Kyle Walker as experienced full-backs in the squad could be risky.

It’s not uncommon to see a team with a right-back turned upside down as their best on the left side of defence. This is Joao Cancelo and he is a special case – perhaps the most technically talented full-back in Europe. But even with Cancelo at the height of his power in the past two seasons, Pep Guardiola had moments when he needed Zinchenko.


Salah was a constant threat on Cancelo’s wing (Image: Getty Images)

The last game of the Premier League last season, when he was involved in the first half to help Rodri equalize, is a case in point. The 2021 Champions League second leg when City reached the final and Zinchenko was another start.

Now the Ukrainian is with Arsenal and City still seem far from finding a successor. A deal for Brighton left-back Mark Cucurella has stalled, although the Spaniard handed in a transfer request on Friday morning.

Brighton have set a valuation of more than 50 million pounds ($61 million) for the defender, who is rated higher than Ben White, according to sources in the negotiations. Manchester City managed to raise its offer to 40 million pounds, and the athlete He understands that they put in an improved show on Thursday. The answer from Brighton has not changed.

Cucurella did not participate in Brighton’s 5-1 win over Espanyol on Saturday. as such the athlete It was also revealed earlier this week that talks between the clubs have come to an end and a major change in negotiations is needed in order to hammer out a potential deal.

Aside from his creativity, Cucurella was particularly admired in the top offices of the City Football Academy for his defensive abilities. Aggressiveness in his men’s defense and discipline on the back line were thought to be the perfect complement to Joao Cancelo.

When asked about signing a new left-back, Pep Guardiola tried to be cautious last Friday: “If it’s possible, yes. If not, we stay with what we have. We have enough players who can play there. Joao can. Play there, and Josh (Wilson-Ebrand) and Nathan (Akee) can play there.”

He mentioned Spanish manager Wilson Espand, and there was a reason for that. The 19-year-old is included in the Community Shield squad and is highly regarded among the first-team staff. The biggest concern for Wilson Espand is his injury record.

After landing at City in 2019 from West Ham, he suffered two long-term injuries, including a ruptured ACL two seasons ago. Calm and patience would be the best recipe for him to give to the first team.

The city is expected to explore new options. Borussia Dortmund defender Rafael Guerreiro has been subject to discoveries and has been followed in the past, but the 28-year-old is not expected to be dispensed with at a reasonable price.

It won’t be the easiest job for football manager Txiki Begiristain, with the Premier League kicking off next week.

Despite the defensive struggles – and the missed opportunities for Erling Haaland – there were also positives to draw with City.

Julian Alvarez was definitely the eldest. After the departures of Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling, the Argentine proved his willingness to play an important role in Guardiola’s plans.

Alvarez was used for the first time off the right wing, replacing Riyad Mahrez and showing what he has to offer. His speed, playfulness and pressing efforts were promising profiles. Alvarez equalized the match 12 minutes after his arrival and hinted how he could benefit from Haaland’s presence.

Guardiola even decided to change his lineup in some moments of the second half, forming a 4-4-2 with the Argentine alongside Halland in front.

Phil Foden was walking the same path. It was hard to tell he wasn’t on the pre-season tour because he hit the ground running as soon as he came off the bench to replace the unfortunate Jack Grealish.

Foden was silky, smart, and a constant threat. Alvarez’s goal came from his shot. It would come as no surprise if Foden takes part in the Premier League’s opening match at West Ham next week.

However, one of the lessons Pep’s City should have learned from the past is not to draw too many conclusions from Community Shield.

The last time they faced Liverpool was three years ago. City managed to win on penalties, after a 1-1 draw at Wembley.

At the end of the year, Pep lifted the Carabao Cup as their only title, while Liverpool clinched their first Premier League in 30 years.

(Photo: Mark Atkins/Getty Images)

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