Another summer of heavy investment was evident at City. New boss, Manuel Pelligrini, brought in Jesus Navas, Fernandinho, Alvaro Negredo, Stefan Jovetic and Martin Demichelis for a total outlay of over £100 million. Once again, there was a massive clear-out with nine players, five of which being first-team players, leaving City for around a fraction of their relative purchase prices.
The major summer departures included players like Carlos Tevez, Kolo Toure, Wayne Bridge, Roque Santa Cruz and Maicon while Scott Sinclair and Gareth Barry left the club on season long loan deals.
This is what I believe City’s strongest XI will look like:
After City won the title in 2011, they tried to strengthen their squad but in my opinion they failed dismally in that attempt. Players of a proven premier league quality such as de Jong, Johnson, Adebayor and Ballotelli were all sold and replaced by Garcia, Sinclair and Rodwell. Player for player, the in-coming players resulted in City moving backwards rather than forwards. I believe this was the reason why they did not manage to put together an adequate defence of their title last season.
With the addition of quality again this season, I believe City are once again on the right track. They will feel the loss of Tevez who moved to Juventus, but Negredo and Jovetic are quality replacements who will only get better.
Their squad looks strong once again, but, for a title challenging side, they are far too reliant on their big-name players. City look empty without their captain, Vincent Kompany, and never look capable of keeping a clean sheet, especially when Javi Garcia plays at centre back. Last season, we also saw how dependent City were on Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero and when those two were absent from the team, the team looked very average despite their big-name status.
Apart from the shock defeat to a stubborn Cardiff City side, City has been very comfortable this season, labouring to victories over Newcastle and Hull City. I fully expect them to be challenging for the title up to the end of the season and their owners will not expect anything less from their expensively assembled squad.
Feel free to comment on this post. Whether you agree or disagree, this is all for the love of the game and for the fans.