Then there was two, senior strikers at Manchester City that is. The Citizens started the summer with four forwards as Sergio Aguero, Wilfried Bony, Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko provided the Citizens striking options.
Since then Montenegrin forward Jovetic has headed for Italy to join Robert Mancini’s Inter on an 18-month loan deal. Dzeko also looks set to head to Italy after the City agreed a £14million fee with Serie A outfit Roma.
The departing pair both struggled to have an impact for the Citizens last season. Dzeko made 11 starts and also 11 substitute appearances for Manuel Pellegrini’s side last season. His appearances yielded just four goals and two assists.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina striker had been far more effective in past seasons, but had developed himself a reputation as a super-sub, rather than a starter at the Etihad Stadium. He struggled to ever really command a regular first team starting position.
Jovetic arrived at City two years ago with a big reputation forged in Serie A. He was never seen as a prolific goalscorer in Italy, he was regarded more as a creative forward player.
The 25-year-old’s City career has been plagued by injury and it never really got started. In his nine Premier League starts and eight substitute appearances last season he managed to score five goals and collect three assists.
However, he was never going to displace Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero in the main striker role at the Etihad Stadium, although he did play as an attacking midfielder at times last season.
Sergio Aguero is without doubt one of the best strikers in world and European football. It would be hard to displace him as first choice striker. It seems that City boss Manuel Pellegrini has finally moved away from his idea of playing two up front, so the Citizens do not need that many strikers in the squad.
Aguero, fitness permitting will start the campaign as the lone striker for City and Wilfried Bony as back-up. The Ivory Coast international has proven in the past with Swansea that he can score goals in the Premier League give the chance.
The £30million signing is a very good back-up to Aguero, who is very injury-prone. I am sure Bony will get his chance to impress at some point in the season. If reports are to be believed that chance could come in City’s opening league game with City on Monday, but Bony is also a doubt for that clash.
Aguero is a major doubt for the clash at the Hawthorns, as he is suffering from a stomach bug which has also affected teammates David Silva and Samir Nasri.
It could be argued that City have not only got two forward options in their squad as they also have new signing Raheem Sterling who can play up front and promising young Nigerian Kelechi Iheanacho, who has produced some impressive moments in pre-season.
Club-record signing Sterling spent much of last season as Liverpool’s lone striker, as injuries and the general lack of form meant the winger was played out-of-position for the Reds.
He did a decent job, but his finishing and composure will need to improve if he was to make central striker his permanent position. No doubt those attributes will increase with age and he would not do a bad job if City needed him to fill in up top.
Iheanacho could be given his chance in the City first team squad this summer, after the 18-year-old’s impressive pre-season campaign. The 18-year-old could even start the game at West Brom on Monday, as Wilfried Bony has just 45 minutes of pre-season action under his belt.
The youngster looks to have a lot of the attributes needed for a good Premier League forward. He looks strong and is quick. The young striker could be a star of the future, especially if Aguero continues to be injury-prone.
Manchester City heads into the new Premier League campaign as resounding second favourites to become champions at odds of 11/4.
For me with the options that City now has they should be right on the shirt tails of Jose Mourinho’s men. The signings of Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph seem like good signings, even if Sterling’s transfer fee was inflated.
They will improve the City squad and the Citizens should be able to put up a far better fight for the title than they did last season. Having just two strikers should not hinder the Citizens chances of regaining the Premier League title this season and they will be a big threat to Chelsea in the title race.
Does Manchester City have enough firepower to win the Premier League title?
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