Why Manchester City can work wonders without an eye-catching transfer window
Manchester City, the runaway Premier League champions with a record-breaking points tally, swept aside almost every team in England last season. Hence, buying more players this summer wouldn’t have made sense for Pep Guardiola, who must seek for continuity and enhancement of qualities in certain patches.
So, going big in the market wasn’t a viable option for the Cityzens. However, they did buy Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez for a club-record fee from Leicester City. A Premier League winner himself, Mahrez is a good squad fit for Guardiola.
Incoming players this summer
Signing Mahrez is vital for City since they must target a treble this season. Furthermore, performing better in the Champions League must be a priority. For that reason, signing the Algerian will help Guardiola rotate his front line without a drop in quality. It will also aid the manager to rest the forward players before a big European game and play Mahrez, who is an experienced campaigner in the Premier League.
With Bernardo Silva playing in central midfield last Sunday in the Community Shield, one may imagine what Guardiola has in his mind. The Spaniard could well field the Portuguese in that position this season, allowing Mahrez to directly compete with Raheem Sterling for the right-wing spot.
Where they lacked
City did target Jorginho from Napoli to provide cover for their relatively thin defensive midfield department. (ESPN)
However, the player decided to join Chelsea, which somewhat surprised many people in England.
Fernandinho has done a fantastic job at shielding the back four, winning second balls to sustain attacks. But the Brazilian is now 33 and he may need to be deputized during the course of a long season. For that rationale, Guardiola must have dipped in the market and bought a top-quality No. 6 to cover this position.
But as things stand, the Premier League champions only have one first-team defensive midfielder. Considering their strength and depth in other departments, this does seem rather unusual.
If Fernandinho gets injured or succumbs to fatigue, the situation could be rather worrisome for Guardiola and City. Interestingly enough, he tried playing John Stones in that role last Sunday.
Transfer Rating – 7/10
City should have addressed the defensive midfield situation, which could have turned them into favourites to win the treble this season.