How do Manchester City solve their striker dilemma?
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 31: Former Manchester City's player, Argentinian forward Sergio Aguero poses at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain during his official presentation as new player of FC Barcelona on May 31, 2021. (Photo by Adria Puig/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The start of the new season is fast approaching, yet Manchester City are have kept their transfer cards close to their chest.

Talismanic striker Sergio Aguero departed the club for pastures new at the end of his contract, ending a 10 year, trophy laden spell in East Manchester.

The Argentine's departure leaves Manchester City with just one senior striker in the form of Gabriel Jesus, but will that be enough to endure what could be another demanding season?

Jesus To Stamp His Authority

Jesus was just 19 years of age when he swapped South America for Europe to sign for Manuel Pellegrini’s side.

The Brazilian was one of the most sought after youngsters in world football at the time, highlighted by his hefty £27m transfer fee.

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It looked as though Jesus would be the man to partner Aguero at the head of the City attack, before becoming the Argentine's long term successor in the number 9 role.

Yet despite netting a half century of goals in his four years in England, the jury is still out for the Brazilian, who has been tipped for a move to Juventus this summer.

With no guarantees over his long term future and doubts over where he fits best in Pep Guardiola’s setup, can the Citizens really afford to enter the new season without further acquisitions?

Delap’s Time To Shine

Another option available to Guardiola without spending a penny is 18-year-old academy prospect, Liam Delap.

Son of Premier League cult hero Rory, Liam took the Premier League 2 by storm last year, scoring a record breaking 24 goals in a title winning campaign that saw the youngster scoop the Player of the Year award.

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Delap grabbed his first senior goal for the side in their third round Carabao Cup victory over Bournemouth last season and despite a plethora of rumoured admirers, Guardiola has confirmed that there will be no summer exit, with the Manchester City manager keen to integrate the EDS favourite into his first team setup as soon as possible.

Likened to fellow countryman and rumoured Manchester City target Harry Kane due to his physical presence and eye for goal, could the solution to City’s problems be closer to home than many think?

False 9

Another potential avenue for City to explore is the potential of no striker whatsoever.

Now whilst the prospect of no obvious striker would make Big Sam sick to his stomach, it’s a tactic that has brought Guardiola’s sides a lot of success over the years.

Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva were amongst those who adopted the role in Manchester City’s Champions League campaign last season.

But whilst the formation has proven successful in Europe, there are serious doubts over whether it could withstand a taxing 38-game Premier League season.

Transfer Records Broken

The final option for Manchester City is to go out and pick up a direct replacement for Sergio Aguero.

Harry Kane, Erling Haaland and Romelu Lukaku are amongst the high profile names mentioned with a move to East Manchester.

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But despite their riches, City are yet to spend over £65 million on a single player, with the three aforementioned expected to warrant closer to the £100M mark.

There is no questioning that there are enough funds in Sheikh Mansour’s bank account to pursue to such a signing, but whether he will be willing to spend so much remains to be seen.

With Daniel Levy playing hard to get, Haaland heavily linked with a move to Chelsea, and Lukaku rumoured to be happy staying put, it remains possible that it could be a quiet transfer window for the defending Premier League champions.