Gary Neville thinks Manchester City need January signings

"They bought Aymeric Laporte in January a year and a half ago, and I feel that they're going to have to do the same again"

Fernandinho has become a makeshift centre-back for Pep Guardiola
Image: Fernandinho has become a makeshift centre-back for Pep Guardiola

Manchester City will need to spend in January on defensive reinforcements, according to Gary Neville.

City conceded more shots on target in their eventual 3-1 win at Everton than they have in any league game since Pep Guardiola took over in 2016, fielding an increasingly stretched defence following injuries to John Stones and Aymeric Laporte.

Makeshift centre-back Fernandinho joined Nicolas Otamendi at the back as City kept themselves five points off leaders Liverpool, but they looked like they would be dropping more points in the title race for much of the game after a defensive mix-up allowed Dominic Calvert-Lewin to equalise.

Pep Guardiola had claimed in the build-up to the game that City could not afford to buy reinforcements in January, despite spending less than their opponents in the summer window.

Everton vs Manchester City
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"You have to think that City will spend in January," Neville told Sky Sports. "I saw this morning that Guardiola said they didn't have any money. Well, they've got more than everybody else.

"They bought Aymeric Laporte in January a year and a half ago, and I feel that they're going to have to do the same again.

"This won't be good enough for the Champions League or the Premier League. Guardiola will know it - he knows the standard more than anybody."

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Guardiola has been left with 34-year-old Fernandinho as a defensive option, along with young pair Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis, who both started their Carabao Cup win over Preston in midweek.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin equalises for Everton
Image: Dominic Calvert-Lewin was allowed to equalise after a mix-up in the Manchester City defence

"We have Fernandinho, we don't have another option," said the frustrated manager after the Everton game. "That's happened. That's where it is, we have to go with these two guys, and after that the young guys."

Neville feels any new addition will have to fill some of the void in the dressing room left by the departure of club captain Vincent Kompany in the summer - and that City are only too aware of that requirement.

He said: "They've set limits, and perhaps it's not so much the fee, but the wages that will be demanded to attract the right type of player, which is making the Manchester City hierarchy nervous and stay within a structure.

"But with Vincent Kompany going, it leaves a huge void, not just on the pitch but off it. There aren't too many players like him around, and he's difficult to replace."

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