Pep Guardiola will be looking for a huge improvement on his debut season in the Premier League after, for the first-time in his managerial career, he ended a season without any silverware.
Despite being within touching range of the Premier League title challenge for most of the season, this eventually fell short – as did their FA Cup adventure and their quest for Champions League glory.
But after a heavy summer of additions in the summer transfer market, wasting no time in getting rid of the old and in with the new, City fans have the right to be full of anticipation heading into 2017-18.
How has their summer gone?
In a word, busy.
Within just two weeks of the Premier League season ending Pep Guardiola had already secured the signings of Bernardo Silva from Monaco (£43 million) and extremely talented goalkeeper Ederson Moraes from Benfica (£35 million), also releasing five men over 30-years-old in a ruthless clear-out.
Veteran defenders Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Pablo Zabaleta, along with Willy Caballero and Jesus Navas, were all released to pave the way for fresh, young additions to boost City’s back-four.
And Guardiola kept true on his main promise to invest heavily in his defence, breaking the record transfer fee for defenders twice in the space of a few days through the signings of Kyle Walker from rivals Tottenham (£45 million) and the highly-rated Benjamin Mendy from Monaco (£52.5 million), before he fought off stiff competition from Chelsea to sign Real Madrid’s versatile man Danilo too (£26.5 million).
In other business of note, Aleksander Kolarov bid goodbye to the Etihad after seven years spent in Manchester in a switch to Roma whilst young Douglas Luiz was bought from Brazil’s Vasco Da Gama.
And amongst spending over £200 million, City managed a successful run-out in the International Champions Cup in the United States, losing to rivals United before beating Madrid and Tottenham.
Manager: Pep Guardiola
It’s fair to say that Pep Guardiola’s track record of winning needs no explanation after stints at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, and despite an average debut year in England he’s now poised for a huge 12 months.
Although City failed to win when it mattered, ultimately ending the year trophy-less, the Spaniard was working with an ageing squad that needed investment – and that’s exactly what he’s now done.
It’s easy to forget how much of a tactical mathematician he is on the touch-line, and now he has added suitable wing-backs to his squad for the forthcoming season it’s not an understatement to say that Manchester City will be a real force to be reckoned with when going forward this campaign.
Now he’s put his own stamp on City’s squad, this upcoming season is there one where Guardiola’s managerial prowess can be fairly judged, and expect him to thrive and challenge for big trophies.
How could the Citizens line-up this season?
After investing an awful lot of money into his back five so far this summer Manchester City’s defensive line-up almost writes itself, spear-headed by the arrival of Benfica goalkeeper Ederson.
Captain Vincent Kompany will provide a stubborn figure in the heart of a back-three which should include both John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi – although the Argentinian’s spot could be in danger should City buy a centre-back – with £50million men Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker lining-up as the wing-backs.
The big question that Guardiola has to address this campaign though is how he fits all of his bountiful attacking options into one side, and whether he plays both Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero in the starting eleven, but after trialling it successfully last year it seems he may start the year with both.
That leaves two attacking midfield positions for the likes of Bernardo Silva, David Silva, Leroy Sane, Kevin de Bruyne and the returning Ilkay Gundogan to fight for; not exactly a bad dilemma for Guardiola to have.
The form of [David] Silva and De Bruyne last season makes them almost un-droppable, but it still leaves City with an incredibly potent substitutes bench – and arguably the best bench in the entire league.
Who are Manchester City’s best fantasy football options?
It’s arguable that, forget the likes of Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne, the best value in terms of fantasy football comes in the shape of City’s new full-back duo of Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker.
Their advanced roles in the Manchester City side will always leave them open to assists in and around the final third – last season Mendy and Walker both earnt five each – whilst their listing as defenders means that they’ll coup a good sum of points any time City keep a clean sheet this season.
For a slightly less economical pick then look no further than David Silva, City’s influential midfield talisman, with it likely that the 31-year-old will still feature regularly in the starting eleven this year.
Despite missing part of last year through injury, the silky Spaniard still managed to find the back of the net four times and earn seven assists, and you just know he’ll be pivotal to the attack once more.
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Premier League Verdict
After winning their first six Premier League games last season we’ve already seen a glimpse of what Manchester City could be like if firing on all cylinders, and after the amount of money that has been pumped into the squad this summer it’s highly expected they will be challenging for the title in May.
There doesn’t appear to be a real area of weakness throughout their starting eleven and, if Pep Guardiola can get his new signings to gel quickly, City will be a dangerous and prospect this season.
It’s arguably set to be the most competitive Premier League campaign in recent memory, with any one of the top six capable of winning it, but City – on paper – look like the best bet to go all the way.