Manchester City FC

Pep Guardiola hints Man City may not buy a striker due to Ferran Torres' emergence

Ross Jackson
May 15, 2021, 1:45 PM GMT+1
Pep Guardiola has suggested he could play Ferran Torres as a number nine
Pep Guardiola has suggested he could play Ferran Torres as a number nine / MARTIN RICKETT/Getty Images

Replacing a man who was once one of the best strikers in the world was never going to be easy, and it seems Pep Guardiola may just not bother at all.

Manchester City are preparing to wave goodbye to Sergio Aguero this summer - the club's all-time record goalscorer with 258 strikes - yet Guardiola has hinted he may not externally replace the outgoing Argentinian after watching Ferran Torres notch a hat-trick in their 4-3 win over Newcastle.

Pep Guardiola says he may not be a striker this summer
Pep Guardiola says he may not be a striker this summer / Pool/Getty Images

The Spaniard's three-goal haul at St. James' Park took his tally for the season up to 13, with his first of the night one of the goals of the season as he produced a sublime flick to divert Ilkay Gundogan's free-kick into the back of the net.

Guardiola has experimented with a number of different players in a false nine position this season during Aguero's numerous injury lay offs, and the City boss hinted after the win over Newcastle that he could adopt the same system next season with Torres leading the line.

"This is his first season in England and his numbers are exceptional in terms of goals," he told reporters (via the Daily Mail). "I may have to think about playing him as a striker. He can be a number nine. He is an alternative, he is brilliant.

"The movement he creates as a striker, the runs in behind. His last goal - the ball hits the crossbar and where does it come? He is there. He has the smell, the striker’s nose, being intuitive to be there one second before the ball arrives. He has this talent and is a good finisher.

"Maybe we buy a striker, maybe we don’t. But we have a guy who is young. I can use him left, right or as a striker."

Despite taking all three points from the clash with Newcastle Guardiola's side were made to work hard for the win having twice fallen behind.

The three points saw City secure an English record of 12 consecutive away victories and Guardiola admitted his side may have taken their eye off the ball a little having already been crowned Premier League champions.

"We made mistake because we are champions and the players were distracted a little bit, this is normal," he added. "But the spirit was absolutely there."