Manchester City are reportedly considering a move for Sporting Lisbon left-back Nuno Mendes ahead of the summer transfer window and, after an impressive performance for Portugal in midweek, sporting director Txiki Begiristain should seriously consider bringing him to the Etihad Stadium.
Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano recently claimed that City are looking for a new left-back this summer and that Mendes is on the list, although the Citizens are reticent to pay his €70 million release clause.
However, considering the 18-year-old’s superb performances for Sporting Lisbon this season, it seems fair to suggest that he is destined to become a top defender, and therefore City should do their best to sign him this summer rather than losing him to another top European club.
The teenager has made 20 appearances in the Portuguese top-flight so far this campaign, in which he has contributed one goal and one assist, averaging an excellent 7.22 WhoScored average match rating for his performances.
His impressive displays were enough to see him earn a senior call-up to the Portuguese national team, with Fernando Santos rewarding him with his first appearance in the 1-0 win against Azerbaijan earlier this week.
Mendes was one of Portugal’s most impressive performers in the win, with SofaScore awarding him a 7.5/10 rating for his display. This saw him outperform the Manchester City trio who also started the game, with Bernardo Silva and Ruben Dias both rated at 7.3 and Joao Cancelo at 7.4, which may certainly catch the eye of Guardiola.
During his time on the pitch, the “outstanding” 18-year-old – in the words of his former coach Diego Goncalves – impressively won 70% of his duels, completed 82% of his passes and even completed three key passes, all of which were better than the figures registered by Cancelo.
The fact that Mendes was able to outperform the former Juventus man, who has been one of City’s best players this season, suggests that he would fit in well at the Etihad and could be a superb long-term addition in the left-back spot, where he should also work well alongside international teammates Cancelo and Dias in defence.
Therefore, Begiristain should definitely try and sign him for City this summer, as there seems no reason why Mendes wouldn’t be able to establish himself as one of the world’s best defenders in the future should he join Guardiola’s side.
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