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Kane to Man City isn’t ‘dead and buried’ but Haaland fits Guardiola mould better says Wright-Phillips

6:52 PM IST 15/04/22
Harry Kane Tottenham 2021-22
The former Citizens winger believes a prolific No9 would be welcome at Etihad Stadium despite an abundance of attacking riches

Former Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips says his old club's interest in Tottenham striker Harry Kane may not be “dead and buried” despite Erling Haaland being a more logical fit for the club’s strategy.

The reigning Premier League champions bid farewell to all-time record goalscorer Sergio Aguero last summer and Pep Guardiola has continued to experiment with a false nine approach this season.

Gabriel Jesus has been used sparingly, but the expectation is – after bidding for Kane last year and being heavily linked with Haaland in the present – that a new leading marksman will be acquired at some stage.

Is Harry Kane still a target?

Ex-Man City star Wright-Phillips believes Kane will remain in the mix for Guardiola and told GOAL in association with Lord Ping: “Kane is always going to be in the hat for that position with City. I don’t think that is dead and buried yet.

“He has come alive at the end of the season and we are used to seeing this Kane. We are seeing the real Kane back with his mobility, he looks fitter, he looks sharper and he has got his goalscoring back. He is one player that you can never ignore.

“When you look at City’s buys, a lot of them in terms of age bracket have been under 26. They normally work for longevity and I can imagine they are going to do the same thing again.”

Is Erling Haaland a better option?

If the benefits of signing Kane are more short than long-term, that could convince City that spending big on prolific Norway international Haaland – whose father, Alf Inge, once represented the club – is the better option.

“Maybe so,” Wright-Phillips added when that proposal was put to him. “It would be nice to see a No 9. There have been games this season where it has called out for a No 9, but at the same time, in those games they still created an abundance of chances that weren’t taken.

“There is talk of a No 9 because we’re not used to seeing no striker on the pitch, but Pep is a genius and seems to make it work out whatever way he plays.

"There is so much inter-rotation and moving around that it seems to work perfectly for the way that City play. The fact that they hold so much possession of the ball, it allows the front three to move around.”

Does Sterling still have a role to play?

With City seemingly in the market for another goal-getter, and with Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden already competing for wide berths, more questions may soon be asked of Raheem Sterling’s future at Etihad Stadium.

However Wright-Phillips thinks that an England star with 128 goals for the club will always find a way of figuring prominently in Guardiola’s plans.

“I would say he is massive to City,” he said. “He does wonders, whether he comes on or whether he starts.

"I don’t think he gets the rub of the green all of the time. There are some situations like in the game against Liverpool, I wouldn’t say that was offside but with VAR it is. I think he has a massive part to play for City in the future.”

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