Jamie Carragher: Why Man City could forget pursuit of Arsenal defender
Jamie Carragher believes Pablo Maffeo could Manchester City's long-term future at right-back
Jamie Carragher believes Pablo Maffeo could be the solution to Pep Guardiola’s right-back conundrum after Manchester City were previously linked with Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin.
The Premier League leaders lost 1-0 to bitter rivals Manchester United in the League Cup fourth round on Wednesday night following Juan Mata’s second-half winner at Old Trafford.
However, City manager Guardiola could take encouragement from Maffeo’s performance at right-back as the 19-year-old impressed against England international Marcus Rashford.
The Eastlands outfit were linked with a big-money move for Bellerin in the summer transfer window, with The Independent claiming this week that Guardiola wanted to add the Arsenal defender’s pace to his side.
However, former Liverpool defender Carragher reckons Maffeo could be the answer for the Citizens moving forward given the teenager’s impressive performance in the derby at Old Trafford.
“Pep Guardiola made a beeline for the young Spanish right back after the EFL Cup defeat at Old Trafford but his intentions were only positive,” Carragher wrote in his Daily Mail column.
“He wrapped Pablo Maffeo in a bear hug to recognise his outstanding performance against Manchester United and if this is an indication of what the 19-year-old will be able to produce in the future, Manchester City have a player on their hands. Similar sentiments apply to Aleix Garcia, also 19.”
Carragher added: “Guardiola will be aware of the issues he faces at full back. All four of his senior professionals are over 30 and I believe one or both of Pablo Zabaleta or Bacary Sagna will leave before the start of next season, which could lead to Maffeo’s promotion.
“City have been tracking Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin but Guardiola has undoubtedly seen potential in Maffeo and, at the right time in the coming months, I’d expect there will be more opportunities for him, as he has shown both his ability and temperament.
“He is the type of player with whom Guardiola will relish working.”
City’s 1-0 defeat by United in the League Cup fourth round condemned Guardiola’s side to a third defeat in their last five games.
In fact, the Citizens were winless in their last six outings in all competitions ahead of their trip to West Bromwich Albion.