Manchester City have been linked with a move for Benfica left-back Alejandro Grimaldo recently, and the Spanish left-back would arguably be a better addition to Pep Guardiola’s side than Nuno Mendes.
According to Fichajes, via Sport Witness, City are eyeing up potential left-back options ahead of next season and are interested in the 25-year-old Benfica man, who is keen to leave the Liga NOS side this summer.
Grimaldo is a product of Barcelona’s academy and the report suggests that he ‘amazes’ Guardiola, who has reportedly asked those on the City board to bring him to the Etihad Stadium.
The Spanish manager has rotated between a number of options at left-back so far this season, with Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko the regulars in that position, whilst Nathan Ake and Benjamin Mendy have also featured there.
Although Mendy impressed against Leicester City recently, scoring the opening goal that day, his injury issues since joining the club have emphasised that he cannot be relied upon to be a regular throughout the season. Therefore, it is no surprise that they are keen on adding a left-back to their squad, despite Cancelo and Zinchenko impressing so far this campaign.
His performances in the Portuguese top flight over the past five years have been consistently excellent, with his two goals and six assists so far this campaign putting him well on track for another successful season.
Therefore, it is easy to see why he perhaps feels ready for a new challenge, whilst Benfica sporting director Tiago Pinto also hinted that he was ready to make the step up last year, saying: “For me, Grimaldo is one of the best five left-backs in Europe. Many Benfica players are ready to, someday, play in a world-class team. Grimaldo is good enough to play for any side right now”.
City have also been heavily linked with a move for Sporting Lisbon left-back Nuno Mendes, who has burst onto the scene this season with a series of superb performances in Liga NOS. However, his 7.21 average WhoScored rating in the Portuguese top flight so far this season sees him ranked just below Grimaldo, who has averaged an impressive 7.27 rating.
Mendes would also demand a huge fee and is just 18 years old, so he might not be considered ready to be a regular in Guardiola’s side next season; whereas Grimaldo has plenty of experience and his performances during his time at Benfica suggest that he could establish himself as a first team regular at City.
Therefore, sporting director Txiki Begiristain should perhaps forget about signing Mendes this summer and bring in the more experienced and affordable Grimaldo.