English Premiership

Man City: Where they need to improve

2017-06-04 09:00
Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)

Cape Town - As the opening of the transfer window beckons, the managers of the Premier League are already focused on next season.

The transfer window is a period that could make or break the first-half of the season for any club in top flight football.

With the 'top four' seemingly turning into a 'top six' over the past few years, the managers of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City will all look to improve their squads.

In a series of six articles, Sport24's Tashreeq Vardien takes an in-depth look as to which areas each club need to improve to make their 2017/18 season a success.

Chelsea: Where they need to improve

Tottenham: Where they need to improve 

MANCHESTER CITY (manager - Pep Guardiola)

A very underwhelming maiden season for Pep Guardiola in England as Manchester City finished the 2016/17 campaign without any silverware.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager is obsessed with bringing glory to the Etihad Stadium and will need to start adding value to City's trophy cabinet next season.

First things first: Getting rid of the dead weight.

Guardiola did not shy away from letting City's star players know who the boss around the Etihad.

Joe Hart was sent to Torino in the Serie A for a season-long loan, while fan favourite Yaya Toure warmed the bench for majority of the first-half of the season.

Claudio Bravo was brought in by Guardiola with Willy Caballero playing second fiddle to the former Barcelona number one.

Both goalkeepers did not fit Guardiola's game plan which has seen the manager waste no time in signing Ederson Moraes for €40m from Portuguese giants Benfica.

Meanwhile, Hart is expected to be sold with West Ham United, Everton and Italian giants, Roma, all interested in the 30-year-old.

City will need an aggressive back four to compliment their attack next season and with majority of their defenders well over 30, it is time Guardiola to bring in new faces.

Despite having goalkeeping issues, City's defence lacked leadership without club captain Vincent Kompany (31).

The Belgian spent majority of the season sidelined with a terrible knee injury. That injury could end his career sooner rather than later.

Pablo Zabaleta, 32, has signed for West Ham United while 34-year-old Bacary Sagna is set to be sold according to reports. 

Gael Clichy, 31, is still contracted to City until 2019 and Aleksander Kolorov, 31, looks set to remain with the Citizens as Guardiola still deems the Serbian valuable.

John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi looks to set to be joined by right-back Benjamin Mendy from Monaco.

While Guardiola needs to restock on defenders, the manager has already signed another midfielder - Bernardo Silva from Monaco.

The 22-year-old joins the Citizens for £43m on July 1.

It seems that the manager will have to make some room for more attack minded players, unless City's owners can keep up with Guardiola's expensive taste.

Silva will have to compete with Ilkay Gundogan, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne, Fernando, Fabian Delph, David Silva, Fernandinho and Toure for a spot in the starting XI.

The question remains: Do City require another striker with Sergio Aguero, Nolito, Gabriel Jesus and Kelechi Iheanacho at the helm?

Wilfred Bony returns to the club as well after spending a season-long loan at Stoke City but looks likely to be taken off the books.

When called upon, Jesus and Iheanacho will need to start packing in the goals despite both strikers netting seven goals this past season.

City have become reliant on Aguero to deliver the goods in front of goal, while when he is not playing, the majority of their goals are coming from their midfield players. 

Guardiola still has less than three months to get his squad in order before transfer window closes and City are desperate to get back to winning trophies.

Tashreeq Vardien works at Sport24 and is a paper basketball dustbin champion... Follow Tashreeq on Twitter.

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

 

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