Could a Wolves left-back earn a starting role at Manchester City or be a squad player?

Manchester City has been linked with a move for Wolves left-back Rayan Ait-Nouri. The Algerian international has starred for Gary O’Neil’s side this season, and that form has reportedly put on Manchester City’s radar. But could Ait-Nouri become a starter at the world champions, or would he become more of a squad player in the champions squad?

So far this season, the Wolves left-back has had an outstanding season. He primarily plays as an attacking left wing-back or at left back for Gary O’Neil’s side. Ait-Nouri has become one of the premier left-backs in the Premier League with his strong play this season. Across 32 appearances in all competitions, he has added 3 goals and 2 assists. But those statistics don’t tell the full story of the influence he has for Wolves.

With his immense dribbling and passing ability, he is a player who thrives when in possession. Given the way Pep Guardiola’s side plays, he would appear to have the necessary attributes to fulfil a role for the treble winners. With Josko Gvardiol and Nathan Ake preferred at left-back for the world champions, they do lack a specialist in the position. But could Ait-Nouri take the role from either player? That is a different discussion entirely.

READ MORE: What could end up being the ideal position for Josko Gvardiol at Manchester City?

With the strong recent form of Josko Gvardiol and the reliability of Nathan Ake, it would be hard to see the Wolves left-back taking the role from either player. If he were to sign for Manchester City in the summer, he would face a battle to get into Pep Guardiola’s starting eleven. As a left-back who thrives in an attacking role, certain games Manchester City play may suit the strengths of Ait-Nouri’s game. But displacing two players of the quality of Gvardiol and Ake may be a hard task for the Algerian international. While he is immensely talented and could develop into a first team regular, it would appear that he’d have to begin life at Manchester City as a squad player if he were to arrive at the Etihad.

That could be a possibility this summer. Steve Kay has reported for that Manchester City has opened talks with Wolves regarding a summer move for Ait-Nouri. Furthermore, Kay reports that Liverpool and Arsenal are also monitoring the Wolves left-back. A transfer tussle between this season’s Premier League title rivals may be on the cards for the left-back.

There may be a role for Rayan Ait-Nouri at Manchester City. The champions have needed a specialist at left-back for some time now. However it does seem that if the Algerian international were to arrive at the Etihad this summer he would likely have to begin his City career as a squad player given the competition he’d face to start at left-back.

Tags Arsenal Gary O'Neil Josko Gvardiol Liverpool Manchester City Nathan Ake Pep Guardiola Rayan Ait-Nouri Wolves