After a triumphant treble-winning season, Manchester City faces the challenge of taking their team to new heights under the guidance of Pep Guardiola. While minimal changes are necessary, the interest surrounding key players may compel Guardiola to make some adjustments. Let’s explore the potential ins and outs as the reigning league champions prepare for another title campaign.
In goal, there is little cause for concern as Ederson proved his worth in the Champions League final and Stefan Ortega provided reliable backup when required.
Moving to the defense, Kyle Walker, a long-serving right-back, has been linked with a potential return to Sheffield United following their promotion to the Premier League. Towards the end of the previous season, Walker was no longer an automatic selection. As John Stones impressed in a versatile right-back role that adapts depending on the team’s possession. On the left side, Nathan Ake emerged as one of Guardiola’s favorites. While Manuel Akanji and Ruben Dias formed a solid central defensive partnership. It is likely that a similar defensive setup will be there next season, although City may surprise by making an unexpected move for a yet-to-be-linked new defender alongside the potential retention of Akanji.
Major concern for City
The major concern for City lies in the future of Ilkay Gundogan, Guardiola’s first signing for the club. With the midfielder’s contract set to expire. He has been contemplating his next move amidst interest from prominent European clubs after spending seven seasons in Manchester. To address this potential void, City is actively pursuing a transfer for West Ham captain Declan Rice. David Moyes, the Hammers’ manager, holds a favorable view of City’s out-of-favor player Kalvin Phillips. He has sparked discussions of a possible player-plus-cash deal. However, Rice’s potential preference for Arsenal could complicate matters.
On the midfield front, Rodri’s position appears secure, as does that of Kevin De Bruyne. However, City might consider adding a new face as De Bruyne continues his recovery from injury. Notably, during the Champions League final, it was Phil Foden who replaced De Bruyne when he was forced off due to injury. If Bernardo Silva departs, as rumored, Foden seems to be the leading candidate to fill the void on the right side of midfield. Riyad Mahrez, although another contender for the role. He might going to the Saudi Pro League, if a significant offer arrives.
Looking ahead to the attacking trio, Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland will be expecting to feature prominently in the front line. Julian Alvarez, entering his second full season with Manchester City. He could also see increased playing time over the course of the campaign.
In conclusion, while Manchester City’s treble-winning squad requires only minimal adjustments, the potential departures of key players necessitate strategic planning. The acquisition of Declan Rice would offer a solution to the possible loss of Ilkay Gundogan. Additionally, City may explore reinforcements in defense and midfield to maintain their competitive edge. As the new season approaches, fans eagerly await Guardiola’s decisions as he aims to elevate the team to even greater heights.