City aim to march again on the Premier League title after spending big.
Manager’s job security: Manuel Pellegrini is about to start the Chilean’s first season at the club, but this is mega-rich City after all where instant success is expected. A solid Premier League season, coupled with better form in the Champions League and maybe a cup run should be enough for Pellegrini’s debut though.
Captain: Vincent Kompany.
Last season: 2nd.
Players in: Jesus Navas (Sevilla, £14.9m), Fernandinho (Shakhtar Donetsk, £30m), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla, £22m), Stevan Jovetic (Fiorentina, £23m).
Players out: Wayne Bridge (Reading, free), Kolo Toure (Liverpool, free), Carlos Tevez (Juventus, £8m), Roque Santa Cruz (Malaga, free), Jeremy Helan (Sheffield Wednesday, £350,000), Maicon (AS Roma, free).
Aims: Pellegrini will be expected to mount a title challenge with the Citizens once again spending huge amounts of money on new talent. Losing out to rivals Manchester United last term will rankle with the club and winning back the Premier League crown is the priority.
Key player: Yaya Toure – The signing of Fernandinho should give the skillful Ivorian the opportunity to venture further up the pitch more and support City’s attacking line. Since joining from Barcelona three years ago the 30-year-old has developed into one of the club’s best and most influential players.
Needs to improve: Samir Nasri – Despite being a marquee signing from Arsenal two years ago, the Frenchman has failed to achieve the heights of Toure and David Silva on a consistent basis. With Jesus Navas having joined this summer Nasri will have an even harder task to fight for a place in the starting XI.
Big summer signing: Fernandinho – The most expensive player of City’s spending spree at £30m, despite being a 28-year-old defensive midfielder that is something of an unknown entity in England. Yet with Gareth Barry and Jack Rodwell not deemed good enough currently for City, the Brazilian could have an important role to play.
One to watch: Jesus Navas – At a little under £15m the signing of the Spaniard is beginning to look like a steal in the current market, as City capitalised on Sevilla’s financial problems to snap up the highly rated winger. Navas has had issues with travel in the past, but has looked good in pre-season and could take the Premier League by storm.
What do they need? Well not a lot really, although a long-term injury for Mateja Nastasic could mean that a centre-back would be a helpful acquisition for Pellegrini. The Sky Blues probably have the best all-round squad in the league and are strong in all areas.
fanatix prediction: 2nd – Expect this to be a long and tough season, with City and Chelsea battling all the way for the title. However, we think the influence of Jose Mourinho will just pip it for the Blues, although a more successful European campaign could soften the blow for Citizens fans.