Manchester City became the first team in history to win the domestic treble with a 116 year record equalling 6-0 thumping of Watford in Saturday’s FA Cup Final but the news that legendary captain Vincent Kompany will leave in the summer to take up the role as Anderlecht Player Manager, at the club where it all started for him in Belgium, puts a huge dampener on things as the one prize that eludes this great team will be made much harder without him.
For Kompany, a City stalwart of 11 years and one that when he was signed by Mark Hughes from German outfit Hamburg in 2008 would not have dreamed of winning four titles, four league cups and two FA Cups, it seems the right time for him to move on, but for City, I worry that this is not the right time for them?
You cannot deny that Aymeric Laporte looks a snip at £57m playing alongside the great Belgian in the heart of the Premier League champions defence but with able stand-by John Stones still to fulfil his own impressive potential and the likes of Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala even further from being at the top of their own game I can’t help feeling the old fashioned no nonsense style of defending that Kompany brings will leave a void that worsens the treble winners for the 2019/20 season ahead.
That means Pep Guardiola must delve in to the transfer market to improve on what he’s got, because if he doesn’t, and City have in the past come up short when it matters most on the biggest stage of all, he might be missing out on a European title again in another twelve months’ time.
City have been linked with Harry Maguire and Matthijs de Ligt of which one would certainly lessen the blow of losing Kompany to Anderlecht. Crystal Palace right full back Aaron Wan-Bissaka is also being eyed up by the Eastlands side who may also need to look at their left back slot which has been admirably covered by Ukrainian Midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko over the last year or so.
No real problems for City in midfield although with Fernandinho now 34 the rumours are that a long term replacement is being considered. Rodri of Atletico could be an option or Tanguy Ndombele of Lyon? Either player could be purchased with a five to ten year objective in mind?
In attack, City are most powerful and have the stunning Sergio Aguero backed by the predatory Gabriel Jesus. Raheem Sterling who might have thought he scored a hat-trick in the final is a world class wide man likewise Leroy Sane but the German could be one that makes way to enhance his game time potential elsewhere?
Director Txiki Bergstein and co will most likely want to act quickly this summer with the danger of a potential transfer ban looming over the club so 2 or 3 signings of world class potential would certainly be needed to bolster the squad as it builds to go one better than its remarkable achievements in winning three Wembley finals and the Premier League this season.
Next up City will be hoping to rid their jinx and finally reach the Champions League final by trying to emulate the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur who have made it themselves this year. Pep now knows that this is the trophy above all that he needs to ensure his already historical achievements get global acclaim and although this won’t be easy without the leadership skills and defensive attributes of his second in command Kompany, it will certainly be possible due to the way City can often beautifully play, if they can fill the space left by their skipper with something solid and reliable they’ll still be the team to beat, both at home and in Europe.
As for Kompany the last word on not just a fantastic Citizens career, but a word on how the Uccle born centre half has slowly over the years developed into a genuine football icon and idolised philosopher for doing good in the community and for wanting a better world. “A leader of men” is how Kompany is best described by his team mates, an ambassador, a role model, a humble friendly man with real class and dignity, a legend as big as anyone who’s ever wore sky blue. Good look to him in his next chapter, and maybe just maybe…. Both he and City will meet again?