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Souness says Manchester City could pay the price for summer transfer mistake

Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness has said that Manchester City made a mistake after failing to pursue an experienced centre-back during the summer. The Citizens parted ways with long-serving captain Vincent Kompany at the end of the previous season but manager Pep Guardiola decided against pursuing a replacement from the transfer market.

This left the Spaniard with just three senior central defenders in Nicolas Otamendi, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones, and the latter two are currently in the treatment room. Speaking to Sky Sports, Souness said that the Citizens are paying the price after opting against the addition of a new central defender during the summer.

He told: “It will hurt them. I thought they would be okay going into the game against Norwich at the weekend, against the lesser team in the Premier League, and then when they play big teams in the Premier League and the Champions League, they might come unstuck.Kompany, for me, was still their best defender when he was fit. Then Laporte was ruled out and while they are still waiting for Stones to settle in and get his decision making better, he has all the equipment to be a top player.”

With the recent injury setback for Stones, Fernandinho has been tasked with the job of partnering Otamendi at the heart of the defence. Aside from the Brazilian, Guardiola can also bank on Kyle Walker for the central defensive role while Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis are available from the academy to provide the depth.

Still, there remains a question mark whether the options are sufficient to sustain the club’s Premier League challenge until the turn of the year where they have the option to spend in the transfer market. Guardiola’s side recently suffered a shock 3-2 defeat to Norwich City on the road and that already sees them five points behind Liverpool at the top of the table.

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