After a blistering start to the season, Manchester City’s form dipped and never recovered sufficiently to make a sustained title push. Pep Guardiola’s side secured a top-4 finish, but with the sheer level of investment over the last 12 months, the hierarchy are right to demand domestic success and a prolonged challenge for the Premier League is a must you feel. City blew teams away last term, particularly in the dying embers of the campaign, but it’s their form in the middle of the season where the going gets tough that they need to improve upon.
Saturday’s trip to Brighton may be an easy one on paper, but the Seagulls aren’t to be underestimated. A similar start to the campaign in Guardiola’s second season at the Etihad helm would boost confidence, that’s for sure.
Having allowed full-backs Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov to leave, the first port of call was defence for Pep Guardiola and he acted accordingly to strengthen at the back, spending in excess of £100m on Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo, though the City boss will feel aggrieved to have missed out on Dani Alves, who moved to PSG. Ederson is an improvement on Claudio Bravo between the sticks, while Bernardo Silva swells Guardiola’s already impressive attacking options. Youngster Douglas Luiz has also moved to the Premier League, but has been loaned out to Girona FC. Guardiola has worked to trim the fat of the squad, with Jesus Navas and Willy Caballero both released. Kelechi Iheanacho has moved to Leicester, underwhelming midfielder Fernando has left for Galatasaray and Nolito has returned to Spain after a year in England, joining Navas at Sevilla. Joe Hart, who spent last season on loan with Torino, has, along with Zabaleta, moved to Premier League rivals West Ham on loan with a view to a permanent switch.
One to watch – Benjamin Mendy
There were a host of players we could have picked as a one to watch for Manchester City, but after his record breaking move to the Etihad Stadium, we’re going for Benjamin Mendy. The Frenchman had been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League side for months before the switch was confirmed making him the most expensive defender in history following his arrival from Monaco. The young left-back is perfect in a setup that requires marauding full-backs to join the offensive, with the 23-year-old maximising his athleticism to bombard up field where possible. Mendy’s attacking qualities saw him make more accurate crosses from open play (37) than any other defender in Ligue 1 last term and Guardiola will be hoping to can get up to speed as soon as possible, with the former Monaco man suffering with a thigh issue coming into Saturday’s visit of Brighton.
Predicted finish – 1st
Guardiola has addressed problematic areas this summer and has added to the attack with the arrival of Bernardo Silva. While City were dogged with inconsistency on occasion last season, this term should be the one where they land the Premier League title.