Since being taken over by Sheikh Mansour, Manchester City have developed to become one of the top football teams in England and a strong side in Europe, too. However, they appeared to find many challenges last season with Financial Fair Play and a lack of home grown talent. This summer, though, Manuel Pellegrini appears to have spotted the issues and is working hard to take City to the next level.
The most expensive English player ever
The City board were able to convince UEFA that they will be able to avoid another FFP failure and have move quickly to sign four players this summer: the biggest talking point being the transfer of Raheem Sterling for an astonishing £49m.
While this may appear to be more than he is worth, it is by no means a bad deal for City, who have secured a top English talent capable of playing in their first team, and he’s only 20.
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The Jamaican-born midfielder is often criticised for his goal scoring record, with only 18 goals in 98 Liverpool appearances, however he is undoubtedly one of the best players in the world with the ball at his feet. He will be hoping that, alongside Sergio Aguero, he can replicate the form he had when playing with Luis Suarez.
The smart buys continued as the club brought in midfielder Fabian Delph, 25, and youngster Patrick Roberts for a combined fee of £19m.
These buys are exactly what City needed: young fresh talent to replace players such as James Milner, and add flair and youth to the side, as well as improving the number of home grown players.
While many people may assume these players will only replicate the disastrous signings in the past, namely Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell, these are tried and tested players who appear very likely to become squad regulars.
To add to this new policy of signing young players we saw the arrival of Wilfried Bony in January and more recently Enes Unal. If they are able to shift a bit of deadweight over the summer there’s no reason they can’t mount a strong title challenge.
What will they bring?
So why exactly are these signings so important? The youth and speed they bring. When watching Manchester City last season the noticeable issue for much of the season was the inability to really gel and win the games that should have been easy.
The new boys add extra ability to penetrate the defences of their opponents and should give the fans a lot more entertainment than last season. Manchester United and Liverpool have also spent their money well, but City are on track to significantly improve on last season’s disappointment both in the Premier League and Champions League, especially if they can add a new defensive player to their ranks, where they appear to have moved ahead of their Manchester rivals in the race for Nicolas Otamendi.