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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jack Flintham

Man City's January transfer window winners and losers as Pep Guardiola asserts his authority

Manchester City's January transfer window was headlined by the departure of Joao Cancelo from the Etihad Stadium.

Cancelo had struggled for game time since the World Cup with other players preferred at full-back. Eventually, his lack of minutes pushed him towards the exit door, potentially for good.

As for incomings, the Blues made just the one addition. Highly-rated defensive midfielder Maximo Perrone has arrived from Velez Sarsfield proving that City have a firm eye on the future.

ALSO READ: City's January ins and outs

With this in mind MEN Sport has taken a look at Manchester City's winners and losers in this window.

Loser: Joao Cancelo

Having signed a new contract at City just one year ago, nobody would have foreseen that the full-back would decide to leave the Etihad just 12 months later. It is a sad ending for a Blues player who, at his best, was unstoppable.

Cancelo's fresh start at Bayern Munich will hopefully be for the best for all those who are involved. However, his hard not to think about what might have been.

Winner: Nathan Ake

Ake's brilliant form in recent weeks is the reason why Cancelo is no longer in Manchester. The Dutch defender has slotted in at left-back supremely and looks a natural.

The 27-year-old's next challenge is to sustain these levels and continue to keep Sergio Gomez out of the starting line-up. Depending on injuries though, Ake's time in the full-back role may have to be cut short out of necessity.

Loser: Kyle Walker

He was one of England's key men in Qatar and was hailed for his performance against Kylian Mbappe in the quarter-finals. However, Walker's bubble has burst upon returning to domestic football.

Like Cancelo, the 32-year-old has struggled to break into the team post-World Cup. Fortunately for the ex-Tottenham Hotspur man, he still features on occasion and he will be confident of earning his place back.

One teenager may have something to say about that though...

Winner: Rico Lewis

Lewis is having a breakout season like no other at the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola's glowing praise of the 18-year-old has been backed up with stellar performances on the pitch.

The academy graduate has played out of his skin to keep his place in the City XI and Walker can have no complaints for being benched. Lewis must now continue to repay Guardiola's trust if he wishes to keep his role.

Loser: Kalvin Phillips

It has been difficult for Phillips since his move from Leeds United. His injury in the friendly with Barcelona could not have come at a worse time for the Yorkshireman.

Upon his return, Phillips has struggled to challenge Rodri for that starter position. Perrone's arrival will add extra pressure for Phillips especially considering that the Argentine will be training with the first team for the remainder of the season.

Should he perform, Guardiola will not hesitate to push Perrone ahead of Phillips in the pecking order. The next few months are now vital for the Englishman.

Winner: Riyad Mahrez

Mahrez is evidence that keeping your head down and plugging away can lead to results. The Algerian was out in the cold for a time this season but in January he was arguably the Blues' best performer.

With five goals and two assists last month, the 31-year-old has enjoyed a resurgence at the Etihad and is now undroppable. A special mention should also be given to Jack Grealish who has also rediscovered his form at the best possible moment.

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