Pep Guardiola has ruled out the possibility of signing a new striker in January but has demanded attacking improvement from Manchester City.
Man City have endured an indifferent start to the Premier League season and currently sit ninth in the division, eight points adrift of league leaders Liverpool following their 1-1 draw with struggling West Bromwich Albion in midweek – albeit with a game in hand.
Guardiola’s side have shown improvements defensively this season but have failed to find the cutting edge that has defined them in recent campaigns, the leading scorers in each of the past three seasons having managed just 18 goals in 12 fixtures.
City spurned several clear-cut opportunities during the draw with West Brom and their lack of firepower has raised suggestions the club could look to sign a new forward in the winter window, though Guardiola has emphatically ruled out the possibility of attacking arrivals next month.
Asked at his pre-match press conference if he plans to sign a new striker in January, Guardiola insisted: “Absolutely not.
“The last 32 or 33 games we played, Sergio (Aguero) played four or five. Not much. Gabriel (Jesus) has incredible numbers. In terms of goals to minutes since he came to the Premier League, he is one of the top three or four in history. He is a guy who scores goals but it is not just on his shoulders.”
Manchester City's goals after 12 games this season compared to previous
Their lowest under Pep Guardiola 📉 pic.twitter.com/WTGpBmZbZq
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) December 16, 2020
Guardiola was asked what the solution is to his side’s lack of goals and has demanded improvements, urging City to ‘score more’ and ‘create more’ as they bid to rediscover the form that saw them rack up over a century of league goals last season.
“Insist and insist and insist. If 25 shots is not enough, create more,” he said.
“The only thing is to insist, be positive and one day it will break. Be aggressive, put more players there and when we are able to score goals and win games the confidence will be back but the reality is comparing the 40 goals we scored in the year we won the first PL, 36 the next year and 35 the year after. This year we have 18 so in the previous seasons we were there really well and we have to score more. Last season we scored more goals than the champions.
“We conceded too much but we have to score more, everybody knows it but it doesn’t depend on one specific player. Everyone can score, it depends on the mentality and the desire.”
City travel to face a Southampton side who currently sit third in the Premier League this weekend, and Guardiola has warned his side must ‘play better’ than in recent weeks if they are to keep pace with the division’s top sides over the festive period.
“We have to play better,” he added. “We create chances and we can play better. We were not able to do some principles perfectly lately and we have to come back on this.
“It is not just the responsibility of the strikers. They know they have to score, everybody knows it but everybody is involved to create more clear chances. This is all we can do
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