When Pep Guardiola was confirmed as Man City’s next manager for the upcoming premier league season, the world was abuzz about how this managerial appointment means big things for the blue half of Manchester. Guardiola has been one of the most successful coaches in recent times winning the Treble with Barcelona in his first season there and then going on to win 5 major trophies in 3 years with Bayern Munich.
As soon as the announcement was made, the rumour mill started churning about who’s going to stay at City and also which players will be playing their last season in Sky Blue. City has never had a dearth of talent, but Guardiola has been brought in to mold them into the next powerhouse of European football. The opportunity of working with Pep will draw a different caliber of player to the club and these are exciting times for the Citizens.
Let’s now come to how City might line up next season. The summer recruitment drive is in full steam with up to eight new faces due to arrive at the Etihad Campus. City fans have already had a taste of what to expect, with Ilkay Gundogan already brought on board in a 4-year deal reportedly worth £21 million. In a team already bursting with midfield talent, Gundogan adds another dimension to their play.
If we look at how City might set up, starting from the back Joe hart is an automatic pick as their No 1, though he might not have it all his own way, with Barcelona’s Marc Andre Ter Stegen being linked to the club. Bacary Sagna had a fine season at right back, usurping Pablo Zabaleta for a staring birth. With Vincent Kompany having an injury hit season, there is talk of City bidding for John Stones as the next rock in their fortress. Elaquim Mangala has disappointed since his arrival so expect major changes in the center of defence. Aleksandar Kolarov made the left back spot his own with some good displays on the flank, but it remains to be seen whether Guardiola will be accepting of his inferior defensive abilities.
The midfield is the one area of the pitch where City can rival any team in Europe. Kevin De Bruyne has been a revelation in his first season as a Mancunian. David Silva has been pulling the strings in the center of the pitch for as long as we can remember now. Yaya Toure is an unstoppable freight train when he gets going, but might have played his last game at the Eithad, according to reports. Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph might find themselves with larger roles to play next season, with Guardiola keen to develop young players wherever he goes.
At the top end of the pitch is the jewel in the City crown, the diminutive Sergio Aguero. Arguably the best striker in the premier league right now, he will be relishing the opportunity to burnish his talents with a chance to work with a master tactician like Pep Guardiola. Kelechi Iheanacho also cropped up with some very important goals for City in the run up to their 4th spot finish and will also look to learn a lot from the new man in charge.
All in all, we can’t be sure of how Man City might line up, but what we can expect is a very interesting team setup come the first day of the season at the Etihad. Pep is ready with his pep talk, are you?