City to prioritize Houssem Aouar over Bellingham?
One thing I can say with certainty is that there will be no lack of suitors for Bellingham next summer. Many City fans want us to go all out for Bellingham and look to knock all the other clubs out of the water. I personally believe that unlike Haaland, the competition might not be as tough. The reason is quite simply a case of supply and demand. Almost all of the top teams in Europe needed a striker this summer. But, there were not many world class strikers available. So, City had to be very proactive and we pulled off the perfect deal for Haaland. In contrast to that, a lot of teams around Europe are well stacked in midfield and that might not be their priority area this summer.
Liverpool can guarantee playing time
It might seem a bit odd that I mentioned Liverpool from the off here. I feel they are in the pole position to get Bellingham. This has nothing to do with Klopp, playing style and Bellingham being a boyhood Gerard fan. It is simply a case of Liverpool being in a state of transition and having holes to fill in their midfield.
In contrast, City have a midfield in it’s absolute prime and we would not be able to guarantee Bellingham minutes right from the word go. The fact that even Kevin De Bruyne is not an exception to rotation tells you that Pep will never guarantee minutes to anyone. That’s just his managerial style. Liverpool in comparison to all this will be able to offer Bellingham regular starting time. In fact, Cole Palmer and James Mcatee would have started regularly for Liverpool this season. Their midfield is so wafer thin.
Aouar is more dynamic than Bellingham
Now, this might have all the Bellingham fans jumping on my back side. But the truth is that whenever I have seen Aouar play against us, he seemed to be very brave and he is a strong runner with the ball. He could break the lines with his running and his decision making was top notch. I know that the qualities are similar to Bellingham, but there is a maturity about Aouar that Bellingham lacks. The decision making of Aouar in terms of the runs he makes and the time for which he holds onto the ball are much more advanced than Bellingham.
It all depends on Bernardo
If Bernardo stays next summer, then we might not be in for a midfielder at all. I know that Gundogan is getting old, but Pep already has the replacement of Gundogan. If you observe closely, Cole Palmer is being given quite a lot of minutes in the middle of the park. This is an indication that Pep sees Palmer as someone who has the potential to replace Gundogan. The runs and the attacking instinct of Palmer and his sense of goal are what make Palmer a very good Gundogan replacement.
We must not forget that James Mcatee is an outstanding talent and it would be a disservice to him if we got Aouar without Bernardo leaving. So, we are quite well stacked in the midfield positions and we even have our youth coming through to take on the mantle from our veterans
The big question is that, if Bernardo leaves, will our youth be able to fill in for him. It’s not just a question of talent. It is also a question of the experience of Bernardo Silva to get us through the very big games with his excellent performances from the midfield. It is for these qualities of being mature to play in the very big games that we might look more at an Aouar than a Bellingham. Also, there will be no bidding war for Aouar and City always like to go for these kind of transfers which have tranquility written all over them.