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Monday, January 30, 2023

Man City: Colwill can be Pep’s own Saliba

Manchester City have been credited with an interest in Chelsea‘s Levi Colwill recently and the teenage defender could prove to be Pep Guardiola‘s own version of Arsenal sensation William Saliba at the Etihad.

According to journalist Simon Phillips last week, the young defender is attracting admiring glances from both Manchester City and Bayern Munich as a result of his rise to the top over the past two seasons.

Despite some superb performances with Huddersfield Town on loan in the Championship last season, the Stamford Bridge outfit opted to send Colwill out on loan again last summer, with Brighton the beneficiaries this time.

Under Carlos Corberan at Huddersfield, the teenager would make 31 appearances in the Championship, earning an impressive 6.97 average rating from WhoScored, helping the Yorkshire side to reach the playoff final.

He has now established himself as a starter under Roberto De Zerbi at the Amex Stadium, making 11 appearances in total, which included three superb displays in the League Cup, with WhoScored awarding him a strong 7.29 rating.

Corberan was full of praise for Colwill’s performances and potential during their time together at Huddersfield last season.

He said: “He’s a very young player with a lot of things he is doing fantastically, and other things he needs to continue improving.

“I think he’s going to be one of the most important centre-backs for this country in the future. “I am seeing a player with a lot of potential and a lot of personality.”

Should City complete a move for the Chelsea wonderkid in 2023, he could potentially emulate Saliba, who has been one of the stars in Mikel Arteta’s table-topping Arsenal side so far this campaign.

According to FBref, the Frenchman is the seventh-most similar player to Colwill when compared with other centre-backs across Europe’s top leagues.

Last season saw the two defenders register very similar statistics with regard to tackles in the defensive third (both 36), an illustration of their recovery speed, as well as shots blocked (17 vs 16) and passes that led to a shot (22 vs 26).

WhoScored further suggests that both Saliba and Colwill like to dribble and play short passes, which suggests that they are both modern centre-backs who excel with the ball at their feet, extremely useful qualities in a possession-hungry side.

Considering how impressive Saliba has been in the Premier League so far this campaign, Guardiola would surely be foolish to turn down a move for a similar wonderkid in Colwill this year.

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