Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has refused to complain about the lacking of a centre-forward addition, ahead of a highly anticipated meeting with Chelsea and Romelu Lukaku.
Following the departure of long-serving club icon Sergio Aguero at the end of last season, Man City had appeared set on bolstering their already impressive squad with a new top-class striker, despite romping to the Premier League title last season without one.
The club’s main target appeared to be England skipper Harry Kane throughout the summer transfer window, with the 28-year-old expressing his desire to move move, only for Tottenham to refuse to sell for less than their reported £150m valuation given the three years still remaining on the forward’s existing contract.
After briefly being linked with signing Cristiano Ronaldo as an alternative before the Portuguese star opted to rejoin Manchester United, City ended the window without having acquired a new man to lead the line.
That has left Pep Guardiola with Gabriel Jesus as the club’s only recognised striker, though the Brazilian has been utilised from the right so far while Ferran Torres looks like he could be the man set for a more central role this term.
The lack of forwards hasn’t been too much of an issue thus far this season with Guardiola’s men having already hit five-plus goals in three of their seven games in all competitions, including a 5-0 thrashing of Arsenal a few weeks ago, although they were held to a 0-0 draw with Southampton in their last league outing.
With a potentially pivotal clash with title rivals Chelsea to come this weekend, City may well rue their lack of a prolific forward, having previously been unable to find a way past Thomas Tuchel’s stubborn backline in the Champions League final defeat back in May.
Since that showpiece encounter, the Blues have only served to strengthen their squad with the addition of £97.5m man Romelu Lukaku, the Belgian ace already making his mark in his second spell at Stamford Bridge with three goals in just four Premier League games.
While Guardiola may well be envious of their rivals capture of the former Inter Milan forward, the 50-year-old refused to complain about his lack of a striker and insisted that his side will ‘have to do it as a team’.
“There are two options that we have right now: complaining or say we have exceptional players,” Guardiola said at his press conference. “These players have taken this club to another level and I’m still fascinated by the way they train, their commitment. That is enough for me.
“We don’t have this weapon that others teams have like Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham or other teams. We don’t have a player to score 25 league goals for himself, so we have to do it as a team.
“I cannot deny what a player Romelu Lukaku is.”
The former Barcelona boss went on to add that the club would need to sign a striker in the near future, although he was more than happy with the business done in recent years.
“You will not hear me moaning for one single moment in this season that we don’t have this player, because the players that have been given to me by the club – what things they have give to us in recent years,” Guardiola added.
“We survived without Sergio in a good way, in the way we played. I think the club knows – and not for me – that it needs a striker in the next years. Sometimes it is possible, sometimes not because they’re the more expensive ones.”
See also – Chelsea v Man City – Combined XI