When Manchester City won their first Premier League title in 2012, they missed a golden opportunity in the transfer market to sign three or four exceptional players and potentially dominate English football for the next ten years.
Instead, the Citizens bought the likes of Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair and Richard Wright. Meanwhile, their summer rivals were signing the likes of Eden Hazard and Robin van Persie. Consequently, Manchester City limped into second place - eleven points behind rivals Manchester United.
This summer has been slightly different. Eliaquim Malanga and Fernando are undoubtedly bigger arrivals than those that came two years prior, but you can't help but get the feeling that Manchester City need one blockbuster signing to be favourites for the title this season.
Many pundits are backing Chelsea to finish top of the pile come May, after José Mourinho's excellent transfer window. If you were to ask Mourinho how many City players he would have in his Chelsea side, how many would he realistically choose?
Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and perhaps David Silva are the only candidates. City's firepower won them the league last season, there's no question about it, but Chelsea scored thirty-one goals fewer last term and Mourinho would expect Diego Costa and Didier Drogba to fill that void alone.
Surprisingly, the biggest transfer rumours this summer haven't involved Manchester City. Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria haven't been linked with moves to the Etihad Stadium, despite the fact that City could comfortably afford all three of them.
Players of that calibre would get their fans excited. They are the types of player who can create something out of nothing. Personally, I'm not entirely convinced that City's wider players - Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas and James Milner - are of the same quality as the rest of their team.
I also think that the full-back slots should be an area of concern. In Bacary Sagna they signed the wrong player; he isn't as good as Pablo Zabaleta and shouldn't be selected ahead of him.
I expect City and Chelsea to finish first and second this season, but in what order could depend on what City do between now and September.
Where do you think Manchester City will finish this season? Do they need to sign anybody else? Tell us in the comments section below.
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