• Mon. Oct 18th, 2021

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Man City lacks ‘weapon’ like Ronaldo, Guardiola says

ByRoborto Sykes

Sep 24, 2021

Pep Guardiola says he will not complain about the star-studded roster he has at his disposal, despite Manchester City needing to recruit a prolific striker to replace Sergio Aguero in the coming years.

City’s bid to sign England captain Harry Kane backfired in the transfer window, and Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was unwilling to let his esteemed attacker go.

Aguero left for Barcelona at the end of last season as City’s all-time record scorer and has not been replaced.

Instead, the Premier League champions broke the English transfer record by signing Jack Grealish for £100 million ($137 million) to add to an already brilliant array of attacking midfield options for Guardiola.

Without number nine, it has been either party or famine for City’s goal so far this season.

They passed Norwich and Arsenal five times and did one better against Leipzig in their Champions League opener and when Wycombe visited the Etihad in the League Cup mid-week.

But they are three points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United after failing to score last weekend in a 0-0 draw with Southampton and a 1-0 loss to Tottenham on the opening weekend of the season.

Guardiola rejected suggestions that he would prefer to operate without a centre-forward.

“I’ve always had strikers in my career,” Guardiola said ahead of Saturday’s trip to Chelsea.

“Like goalkeepers, strikers are the biggest specialist position. I played here for a few years with Samuel Eto’o, Thierry Henry, (Lionel) Messi, (Robert) Lewandowski, Thomas Mueller and Sergio.

“The club needs a striker in the coming years. If it is not possible, it is not possible, then we will continue with the fantastic team we have.”

Chelsea and United have both added prolific goalscorers — with Romelu Lukaku returning to Stamford Bridge and Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford . Both players have scored four goals for their new clubs.

Guardiola does not expect any of his players to individually match the two top scorers in Serie A last season, but believes City can compete collectively.

City have been the top goalscorer in the Premier League for the past four seasons.

“Forwards are strikers, but they are the hardest players to take (from other clubs),” Guardiola said.

“We were privileged to have Sergio for many years. Unfortunately he was injured last season and we survived without him. With him we knew we had something extra.

“We have two options: complain or cooperate with the exceptional players we have.

“We don’t have this weapon like United, Chelsea or Tottenham. We don’t have the player to score 25 goals, we have to do it as a team.”

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