Manchester City just won their fourth Premier League title in five years, but unfortunately, they failed to reach their Champions League aspirations after a semifinal exit at the hands of Real Madrid.
Now, the Citizens will be looking to improve even more in the summer transfer window. Erling Haaland is already arriving from Dortmund as Pep Guardiola finally gets his No. 9 to lead the line but also, there have been several first-team regulars linked to a move away from the Etihad in the coming months.
That being said, here are 3 players Manchester City can not afford to lose this summer.
3 players Manchester City can not afford to lose in summer transfer window
City is reportedly willing to sell Gabriel Jesus as his contract expires in 2023 while Haaland is set to arrive and take up most of the striker duties. However, the Citizens could be smart to keep him around. The Brazilian scored eight goals and tallied another eight assists in 28 Premier League appearances this term and although he only made 21 starts, Jesus has proven to be a reliable option up top for the title-holders.
Mikel Arteta is keen to buy the forward and give him more opportunities for regular minutes at Arsenal. However, Jesus is about the closest option to a true no. 9 City has other than Haaland, who is expected to be a massive addition. The thing is though, the Norwegian could take some time to adapt to England. Manchester City is a team full of quality, but it’s always good to have depth, especially in the attack. Jesus has proven over the years he can produce at the highest level in the Premier League and honestly another year at the Etihad could be worth it for him and the club. The more options, the better.
Raheem Sterling is reportedly open to a Man City exit, with Real Madrid previously monitoring him. Chelsea and Arsenal are also keeping an eye on his situation as he enters the final year of his current deal. The Citizens want to build their squad to be absolutely unstoppable in all competitions and keeping Sterling would help them do so. His pace and ability to break down any backline are hard to replace. Sterling is extremely valuable on the right flank and the numbers over the years reflect just that.
The former Liverpool man netted 13 times and supplied five assists in 2021-22 and also scored 10 and laid on another seven last season. From 2017-20, Sterling was one of the most electric wingers in the English top-flight and we saw his impact at Euro 2020, scoring three goals for the Three Lions en route to making the final.
Sterling played a pivotal role as a substitute for Manchester City on the final day, using his creativity to break free and swing in a perfect cross onto the head of Ilkay Gundogan. He is a crucial part of this side and a player who possesses a tremendous work rate in the final third. Yes, City’s attack might be a bit congested, but Sterling is a player who has proven himself year after year at the Etihad. There is no reason to sell him.
Fabrizio Romano reported last week that Manchester City and Ilkay Gundogan have hit a stalemate in contract negotiations, with his contract set to run out in the summer of 2023. Romano also detailed the German could very well leave the Sky Blues in the coming months as a result, but this would be a mistake for City to let him depart.
Gundogan proved his worth last weekend in the title-deciding fixture against Villa. The Germany international came on in the 68th minute for Bernardo Silva and proceeded to score a brace in a span of just five minutes, including the heroic winner that handed the Citizens another piece of Premier League silverware. Gundogan was Pep’s first signing when he arrived at Manchester City in 2016 as well. He’s a player the Spaniard will not want to lose. The 31-year-old knows exactly how Guardiola’s system operates and he gives 110% every time he steps on the pitch, whether it’s as a substitute or as a starter.
Gundogan is happy at the club and loves living in Manchester. If there were any doubts about his future with the Citizens, he essentially put them all to bed with his Sergio Aguero-esque heroics last Sunday. Manchester City must extend him sooner rather than later because another European giant will eventually snatch him up if the opportunity arises. He is truly that valuable.