Manchester City Has Found Itself Short at Striker

Could Sergio Aguero be on the way to Real Madrid? Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Could Sergio Aguero be on the way to Real Madrid? Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

Has the loan of Edin Dzeko left the title favorites too thin at striker?

It’s hard to imagine that a club with Sergio Aguero up front and all the money in the world to spend could possibly find themselves short at the striker position, but that’s just the case for the Citizens. With the Premier League’s most dangerous front man slated to miss the next 7 matches City will now feel the sting of jettisoning Edin Dzeko.

At first glance, it seems absurd that a lack of offensive firepower is a possibility for a team with such an embarrassment of riches in the attacking midfield. In truth, City boasts the most talented attacking midfield in the Premier League with the likes of David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Samir Nasri, Ya Ya Toure and Raheem Sterling. While some of these players do excel at finishing, they are not best suited to play as out-and-out strikers. Even Sterling, the attacking midfielder most capable of playing as a No. 9 sees his production greatly diminished when shifted to that role. Their talents are best accentuated by the ability to feed a ruthless striker up top. This is what Aguero gives them in spades when fit, but they will miss in his absence.

Live Feed

Rodri believes City can have even more success this season
Rodri believes City can have even more success this season /

Man City Square

  • Manchester City injury news vs West Ham: FOUR players ruled out by PepThe Top Flight
  • Grealish, Stones, and Kovacic will NOT play tomorrowMan City Square
  • Manchester City Predicted Lineup vs West Ham: Unchanged from Fulham?The Top Flight
  • Manchester City announce star defender's re-signing in Holywood fashionThe Top Flight
  • Manchester City have seven nominees for multiple Men's FIFA awardsThe Top Flight
  • Without a fit Sergio Aguero, City will be forced to turn to Wilfried Bony. If they were turning to the 2014/15 Swansea version of Bony this wouldn’t be a significant issue. Unfortunately for City, they are saddled with playing the current Bony version. This is a striker who looks short on pace and confidence even when supported with a terrific supporting cast. In fact, per Bony is having the worst season of his career. In a year where the title race is so much up for grabs, City can ill afford to suffer through a spell of ineffective striker play.

    Past Bony, the options at striker get even more grim. The next two reasonable options, Patrick Roberts and Kelechi Iheanacho, are talented but neither are old enough to shave on a regular basis much less star in the Premier League. Otherwise they can play Sterling up top, but doing so brings Jesus Navas into the side. Considering the fact that whenever he steps on the pitch it produces an audible groan throughout the Etihad it seems like a poor option. If only Manchester City had another top rate striker they could turn to in their time of need.

    Wait, Manchester City does own another striker who could fill in superbly in this situation. The only trouble is that he currently is on loan with an option to buy at Roma. Yes, Edin Dzeko would be perfect in this scenario. He’d provide City with a proven commodity up front whose style would complement their attacking players perfectly. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Manchester City might not even skip a beat inserting Dzeko into the lineup during Aguero’s recovery.

    Of course it’s unfair to pick on City management for not being able to foresee injuries. However, a top side going into multiple competitions without three reliable strikers is borderline negligent. It’s not as if they were unaware that Aguero might make the Argentina squad, thus risking further injury. Even if he hadn’t, the stress of Champions League competitions in concert with the EPL schedule heightens the injury risk for all players. City should have been better prepared for this unfortunate injury.

    As it stands, Edin Dzeko will be scoring goals aplenty in Roma while Bony plods all over the pitch for City. Perhaps the Bony of old will reemerge from the doldrums and City had better hope so. Otherwise they are going to answer a lot of tough questions regarding Dzeko’s absence and the points it will cost them in a hotly contested title race.