2015/16 Finish: 4
Around September of last year, Manchester City F.C. was the only club that most could envision winning the league. Unfortunately for City, things didn’t exactly pan out like that. City crashed and burned, suffering some heavy defeats, but ultimately limped their way into 4th place come the end of the season. Having assembled the most expensive squad in the Premier League, there’s no doubt that the Citizens have a talented group on individuals, but due to injuries and poor patches of form, the side failed to earn another Premier League trophy. Halfway through the season, it seemed like City threw in the towel. The Manchester club announced that Pep Guardiola was on his way to replace Manuel Pellegrini. The timing of the announcement was odd and seemed to distract the squad, which added to their troubles. Despite their woes in the league, City managed to go on an impressive run in Europe, reaching the quarterfinals of the Champions’ League, the farthest they’ve ever gone in the competition.
Transfers In: Gundogan (CM), Nolito (LW), Zinchenko (CM), Mooy (CM), Sane (FW), Jesus (FW), Moreno (FW), Stones (CB).
In my opinion, Manchester City have probably had the best transfer window aside from their neighbors, Manchester United. City have addressed their defensive issues by bringing in John Stones, a central defender who fits Pep’s requirements nicely. Stones is a highly-rated English defender who is very comfortable with the ball at his feet. Nolito adds great depth and a versatile option up top. The signing of Ilkay Gundogan could prove to be an important one, if the former Dortmund star can regain and maintain fitness. Jesus, Moreno, and Zinchenko all look to be signings with an eye on the future.
The signing I’m most excited to see feature at the Etihad is Leroy Sane. The German attacker burst onto the scene at Schalke and was pursued by the top echelon of clubs this summer before deciding to join Pep Guardiola’s overhaul at Manchester City. Sane scored 8 and assisted 6 in 33 matches at Schalke in the Bundesliga last season. Under Pep, Sane’s potential seems limitless, the winger will be given the chance to flourish and I believe he’ll thrive under the young manager.
Transfers Out: Sold: Fofana (CM). Released: Demichelis (CB). Loaned: Mooy (CM), Moreno (FW).
There haven’t been many departures from the Etihad this season, but the one that sticks out is Demichelis being released. The departure of the Argentine is as crucial as any incomings for City this year, after he cost the club countless points. Mooy and Moreno are loaned out to gain experience and Fofana moves on after failing to crack the first team.
Key Player(s): Kevin De Bruyne
After joining City late last August from Wolfsburg, Kevin De Bruyne has made himself an integral part of the team. The Belgian international proved that he could do it in the Premier League last year, having not been given a chance under Mourinho at Chelsea. The playmaker hit the ground running and scored 7 goals and assisted 9 in 25 league matches. In his last full season at Wolfsburg, De Bruyne managed to record 21 assists, a feat that no one had achieved before in Bundesliga history! With Pep taking the reins and the attacking players surrounding KDB, the Belgian could look to set a Premier League record for assists this time around.
Predicted 2016/17 Finish: 1
The Champs are here! Manchester City F.C. has the firepower to dominate this season, even in an increasingly difficult league. City have done their business decisively and intelligently, addressing key issues and strengthening where necessary. If the key players can stay fit, the Citizens, under their new manager, have the chance to make this their year. With the tactical mind of Guardiola and the talented squad that he has to work with, it’s tough to bet against City taking top spot in the new Premier League season! So, from us at Thrive Nation, here’s an early congratulations to your 2016/17 Premier League Champions, Manchester City F.C.