Small squad, big cat? Manchester City under review

 Small squad, big cat?  Manchester City under review

How did the transfer window go?

Although Pep Guardiola stands for offensive football like no other, Manchester City once again spent a whopping million sum for a defender, this time even the largest in history: Josko Gvardiol came from RB Leipzig for 90 million euros without the best defense of the previous season Key player lost. Aymeric Laporte, once worth 65 million euros himself, but recently only a marginal figure, could still go.

Far more painful for the triple winner is the free transfer from captain Ilkay Gündogan to Barcelona. Whether Mateo Kovacic (from Chelsea) can be an adequate replacement is questionable. Riyad Mahrez (to Al-Ahli) let Man City go easier, but the winger has also delivered in big games for years. It is only logical that Guardiola – in whose coaching team a lot was happening – would not be enthusiastic if Kyle Walker or Bernardo Silva were to leave. In the meantime, however, an extension seems more likely than a departure for both of them.

What is hope and what is worry?

When Jürgen Klopp recently said that only ManCity could realistically claim the title as a goal in 2023/24, that was firstly self-protection, secondly not wrong. The defending champion is still superior to the rest in terms of quality, goalscorer Erling Haaland still better used to the league, and Kevin De Bruyne on the one hand alreadyon the other hand first 32

But how big will the triple hangover be? Nobody should overestimate the defeat in the Community Shield (1:4 against Arsenal), ManCity also lost it in the two previous years. Most recently, it took a few weeks for Guardiola’s team to get going, but then it often didn’t stop rolling. And after the long-awaited Champions League title, the prospect of becoming the first team in Premier League history to win four straight Premier League titles could serve as an incentive this time.

Nevertheless, Man City seems more vulnerable than a year ago. Without more newcomers (there are rumors about Lucas Paqueta), the squad would – contrary to runners-up Arsenal – lose in width, which could become a problem given the short summer break, new Premier League rules and additional tasks such as the Club World Cup in December. In midfield, but also hierarchically without Gündogan, the Champions League final scorer Rodrigo will weigh even more. After a mixed season – and finally central – Phil Foden can hope for more playing times and could be one of the winners of the change.


The start – still interrupted by the UEFA Supercup against Sevilla next Wednesday – threatens to be bumpy. But if the team under Guardiola does not reach the form from last spring too late, no one will be able to prevent the fourth championship title in a row.


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