Manchester City need to be bringing in another striker, says Micah Richards, but the Blues cannot afford to splash out £100 million ($134m) on a frontman after already pushing their luck in the Financial Fair Play department.
That is preventing Pep Guardiola from embarking on elaborate spending sprees and snapping up a proven goalscorer.
Richards, though, believes that City’s hand will be forced at some stage, with it important that those at the Etihad Stadium keep pace with their Premier League rivals.
The former Blues defender told Radio 5 Live when asked if City need to spend on another striker: “I think you have to, if we are being totally honest.
“When the likes of Harry Kane and Heung-min Son are in the form of their lives and you’ve got Diogo Jota who has gone to Liverpool to add to Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, then you see all the players that Chelsea have…
“When I was at Man City, we had Mario Balotelli, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko, that’s four top strikers to pick out of.
“It’s not disrespectful to say Man City should be looking for a new striker, you just need strength in depth. I think they have strength in depth in a lot of positions but I think in strikers it needs to be improved.”
Pressed on whether Guardiola has made a mistake in not bolstering his ranks in the final third, Richards added: “I think it’s about who was available at the time.
“Erling Haaland would have been nice before he went to Dortmund, but we don’t know the finances and the situation with Financial Fair Play.
“It’s easy for us to sit here and say they have got to buy this player and they have got to buy that player, but they have been in trouble – cleared of it – people have accused them of breaching rules. If you go and spend another £100m on a striker then there is going to be more questions that would be asked.
“I don’t think he made a mistake, I just think in the market and what has been available at the time when they were looking for a striker, the option they wanted has not been there.”
City do already have two international-calibre frontmen on their books in all-time top goalscorer Aguero and Brazil international Gabriel Jesus.
Richards is a big fan of both of those options, but still believes that the Blues need more.
He said: “I think they are missing a spark.
“I think, for as good as Jesus is, he’s not the same level as Aguero. That’s not being disrespectful to Jesus because he’s a top striker but you just know when Aguero is in and around the box, more likely than not it is going to be goals.
“Jesus is very good for the team because he works really well for the way they want to play, but he’s not as prolific as Aguero. Because Aguero has been so good for the last nine years since he’s been there, it is hard to replace that.”
Source : goal.com