Man City already have replacements for Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez

Man City already have replacements for Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez

Manchester City duo Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez are linked with pre-season exits from the Etihad – with Bayern Munich and Al Ahli said to be close to signing the pair respectively.

This week might be important for Manchester City.

Prior to departing for their preseason tour of Japan on Wednesday, the first team will return for preseason training on Monday. They will train, acclimate, and play their opening summer match on Sunday against Yokohama F. Marinos.

The strategies Pep Guardiola will use throughout the season will be decided this week. He frequently laments the fixture list and the inability to practice fresh tactics and concepts on the practice field. Guardiola won’t likely have to oversee three games a week for the rest of the season either these four preseason weeks or the weaker August schedule.

Therefore, how City intends to go will depend on how well they get things going in the first week. That two important players have apparently opted to go is not helping.

Bayern Munich has been interested in Kyle Walker all summer after first contacts with the German club surfaced soon after the end of the regular season in June. Walker is rumored to have ‘accepted’ Bayern’s offer this week and will meet with Guardiola to discuss his future with City.

Similar to this, Al-Ahli in Saudi Arabia is apparently interested in Riyad Mahrez, and some rumors even imply that a medical appointment has been planned. City’s long-term attitude is that if a player wants to leave and makes a competitive offer, they will be permitted to do so. However, in both situations, City would have to consent to sell the players.

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If Bayern and Al-Ahli submit those proposals, City’s right side will be drastically diminished in a matter of seconds. Mahrez has been a crucial right-side outlet, cutting inside and scoring significant goals in significant matches. Walker was unstoppable at right-back until the conclusion of the previous campaign, giving Guardiola a speed advantage that no other player in the team can match.

Both players were, however, left off the starting lineup for the Champions League final as Bernardo Silva secured the right wing position in an assault that emerged on its own at the treble finals, while John Stones and Manu Akanji were selected at right-back in the crucial games in the run-up.

Walker and Mahrez would be a big loss, but City has already proven they can succeed without them. Although Bernardo’s own future is uncertain, he would be the primary pick to take Mahrez’s place on the right wing. Phil Foden, Cole Palmer, and Julian Alvarez may all potentially play there as well.

Stones or Akanji would play more right back if Guardiola continues to use the four center back strategy, inverting inside to add extra body to midfield. Rico Lewis would be the most suitable candidate for the right-back position if Guardiola wanted a more conventional one.

Lewis is still developing, but he has undeniable quality and appears to be Walker’s obvious replacement at the Etihad.

Consequently, Walker and Mahrez and their prospective departures may dominate this week’s news. If necessary, Guardiola will concentrate on how to replace them.

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