Premier League 2017/18 Preview – Manchester City

Man city

Image: Premier League

City have been the biggest spenders of the summer so far, with Pep Guardiola looking to mould the squad more in his image. Out have gone squad players such as Jesus Navas and Nolito, whilst Aleksandar Kolarov is their only surviving full back. In their place have come Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy for a combined fee of around £100m, whilst Danilo has joined from Real Madrid. Pep’s experiment with Claudio Bravo failed miserably last year, with the ‘keeper only managing a 54% save percentage. To combat this, City have splashed a record £34.7m for a goalkeeper, as Ederson arrives from Benfica. Another signing from Monaco bolsters City’s attacking ranks, as Bernardo Silva has joined with a view to becoming David Silva’s long term successor. Going forward will be City’s strength this season, with Sergio Aguero and fit again Gabriel Jesus, who hit the ground running after his January move to the Etihad. With both Silvas, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Ilkay Gundogan and their host of new attacking full backs, City’s strikers will have a wealth of chances put on a plate for them this year. Last season was Pep’s first trophy-less season in his managerial career, and with the amount that he has spent this summer in addition to the already expensively assembled squad at his disposal, he will be under pressure to deliver either Premier League or Champions League success. City host rivals Manchester United in early April, and this could be the key game that determines whether Pep’s side are title winners, or are just in the running.

Key Player: Kevin de Bruyne. The Belgian topped the Premier League’s assist charts last season, providing 18 goals. As proved with City’s slump the season before last, the whole side struggles when de Bruyne is not in the side. With the addition of Bernardo Silva, the burden on de Bruyne to produce is lessened, but he will still be the key to anything City create going forward.

One to Watch: Phil Foden. The 17-year-old midfielder has been promoted to the first team this summer after impressing Pep Guardiola, and has featured in their US tour. Foden was named on the bench in City’s final Champions League group game last against Celtic, and scored for England in their European Under-17s final defeat by Spain. Predominantly playing in the number ten role, Foden has some tough competition if he is to feature in the first team, but this also means that he will be learning from some of the best attacking midfielders in world football.

Last Season: 3rd

Predicted Finish: 1st

Premier League 2016/17 Preview – Manchester City

sergio-aguero

Sergio Aguero scored 24 goals in the league last season, but will his goals propel City to the title this time around? Image: Sky Sports

After limping in to the Champions League places last season, City look like they mean business this summer. They have appointed one of the best managers in the world and spend over £150m on new players. Despite being the top scorers last season, the majority of City’s investment has been spent on attackers. Nolito and Leroy Sane have been brought in to ease the burden on last season’s golden boot winner Sergio Aguero, whilst Gabriel Jesus will join the club in January. Ilkay Gundogan has been brought in to run the midfield, whilst John Stones has been brought in for almost £50m. Stones could really develop as a top centre back under Guardiola, who favours the possession-based game that suits the England defender. He had been a victim of playing in a fragile Everton team that offered him very little protection, so playing in a side with the quality of Man City could only be good for him. Surprisingly, Yaya Toure is still at the club, but he will have to show more application than he did last season if he is to keep his place. The Manchester derby will be a particular highlight this season, pitting Pep against Mourinho and two of the most expensive squads facing off, potentially for the title.

Key Man: Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian had an impressive first year back in the Premier League, chipping in with 7 goals and 10 assists. City were a much poorer side when he was injured, as they only picked up wins against Villa and Sunderland in those seven games. With the addition of new attacking talent, De Bruyne should be able to contribute even more than last year, becoming the main creative force to replace David Silva.

One to Watch: Jason Denayer. The Belgian centre back spent last season on loan at Galatasaray where he established himself as a part of their first team. Centre back has been a problem position for City over the years, and despite having two of the most expensive defenders in the world to compete with, neither one of them have proven themselves to be Vincent Kompany’s partner. It will be a long season for City, with the owners aiming for a Champions League win, so Denayer may get his chance if he stays put at the Etihad.

Last Season: 4th  

Prediction: 2nd