Why Pep Guardiola Should Probably Sanction a Move Away From Man City for Aleksandar Kolarov
As things stand, Alexandar Kolarov is Manchester City's only remaining full-back from last season following the releases of Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy, but Pep Guardiola should make it four for four.
The Serbian has just been linked with a move to Roma, with some outlets claiming City have asked for around €10m and that the Italians are prepared to pay it.
The powers that be at the Etihad ought to get this deal over the line because quite simply, City can do so much better than Kolarov at this point.
City stormed to 10 straight victories at the start of last season, and many were hailing Guardiola for transforming the erratic Kolarov into a ball-playing left-sided central defender - it lasted all of five minutes as he gradually reverted back to his usual mistake-prone self
The whole of City's defence last season deserved their share of criticism - John Stones arguably bore the brunt of it, but there were some equally guilty parties alongside the Englishman.
Unlike Stones who is young and has room to grown, Kolarov is now 31 years of age and very susceptible to making defensive errors, especially positionally.
There was a time a couple of seasons ago when Kolarov was genuinely one of the best left-backs in the Premier League, but he is now a weak link compared to the rest of the team - and weak links only increase the likelihood of dropping points. Dropping points could well mean narrowly losing out on the title. And that's exactly what's expected at the Etihad for 2017/18 after the disappointment of last term.
He cannot call on any hidden pace to be able to bail him out of awkward situations, and there seems to be more and more pacy wingers rocking up in the Premier League every year. The likes of Eden Hazard, Alexis Sanchez, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Marcus Rashford would all be skipping away before he got a chance to assert his aggression.
One could argue City would miss his hammer of a left foot, but for every top corner that has ever been picked from a free-kick or long distance, about 99 others have hit some poor bloke sitting in row Z.
This is not a trait by which you keep someone at a football club; Kevin De Bruyne, Yaya Toure and Leroy Sane are all capable of shooting hard and from distance, but they each have many other fantastic attributes as well.
It absolutely makes sense that Roma would want Kolarov because, of course, the general speed of play in Italy is a lot slower than in England, which would probably allow him to flourish. When he has time he can be a trusted defender, but that is a rare thing to come by in the Premier League.
The former Lazio star has now entered the final year of his contract, so why not recoup the €10m for him and reinvest that into a deal for Bertrand (assuming Kolarov would be Benjamin Mendy's back-up for the coming season), who is younger, quicker and probably hungry to prove himself at another big club after his Chelsea stint.