Manchester City have reportedly earmarked Athletico Paranaense defender Abner Vinicius as a solution to their left-back problems.
According to Daily Telegraph, Premier League champions Manchester City are keeping a close eye on Athletico Paranaense’s sensational left-back, Abner Vinicius.
The 21-year-old is making waves with his performances for the Brazilian club of late. Vinicius was a part of the Brazilian squad that won the gold medal at last year’s Tokyo Olympics. If anything, his performances in the tournament took his abilities to a bigger audience. Vinicius also won the Copa Sudamericana with Paranaense last year.
It certainly appears to have caught Manchester City’s eye. The Citizens have had scouts keeping a keen eye on Vinicius as they look to address one of their long-standing concerns in an otherwise perfect squad. As things stand, Pep Guardiola still lacks a dependable first-choice left-back who can make the position his own.
Former AS Monaco star Benjamin Mendy was touted to be that man. However, injuries and off the field issues have seen him fall from grace. Oleksandr Zinchenko remains the lone specialist left-back at Manchester City, but the Ukrainian international has never appeared to be anything more than a backup.
Joao Cancelo, to his credit, has done a good job in the role. However, Guardiola has often chosen to deploy him on the other flank as an inverted full-back. Certain stop-gap options such as Nathan Ake have also been tried in the position but have failed to beat fruit.
An excellent tackler who is also tactically very astute, Vinicius can thrive under Guardiola. He also appears to possess the tactical discipline that the Manchester City manager demands from his players. Guardiola often deploys his side with instructions to press and might finally be close to addressing a key weakness in his squad.
Full-backs have a key role to play in today’s game. Clubs likes Liverpool, Manchester City and Bayern Munich have reinvented the art of the modern-day full-back. Not only do players have to be defensively solid, but they also act as deep-lying wingers or playmakers. Becoming adept as a two-way player is more of a necessity rather than a luxury to succeed at any of the clubs mentioned above.
Manchester City have in recent years signed several Brazilian stars. Those in the current roster include Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus, Ederson Moraes and Kayky. Whether Vinicius will be the latest addition to that list remains to be seen. Speaking of possible Brazilian additions, the Premier League champions have also been linked with Vinicius Junior, who could become a key target soon.