Manchester City have been relatively busy adding to their squad this summer. The Citizens finished second in the Premier League last season, but at times looked laboured and stale.
It was clear that City were not the best team in the Premier League last season and it showed with Chelsea’s title victory.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini had to strengthen this summer or the Citizens would have struggled to challenge for the Premier League title in the coming season. The Chilean decided to buy English this summer, largely persuaded by the lack of homegrown players in his squad.
The British-record £49million signing of Raheem Sterling from Liverpool caught the eye, but the signing of England international Fabian Delph from Aston Villa could be just as important in the new campaign.
City’s third signing was that promising young attacking midfielder Patrick Roberts from Fulham. The 18-year-old arrived at Eastlands for a fee of £11million. The youngster made 19 appearances for the Cottagers in the Championship last season.
The signings were all made with the homegrown quota in mind, but all three could add something to a City squad that lacked energy last season.
For a lot of people Raheem Sterling was overpriced, but selling club Liverpool just did the best they could for their own club. City made a few failed attempts at signing the England international, until they were finally persuaded to part with the British-record fee.
The fee aside, Sterling does possess some of the attributes that City were missing last season. Few in the City team possess much pace, Sergio Aguero aside, and Sterling will supply that in abundance. His pace and trickery are the main weapons in his footballing armoury.
The 20-year-old has a lot of potential and could become a very good player in the future with the right nurturing. His finishing and his final ball may not be the best at the moment, but he is still a very young player and has time to develop those.
Fabian Delph is an interesting signing. The £8million signing has been outstanding in the last few seasons in a mediocre Aston Villa side. His ability to get from box-to-box makes him a very good asset to have.
At 25 years-old he is fulfilling some of the potential that persuaded Villa to pay £7million for him when he was just a teenager. A regular in Roy Hodgson’s England set-up Delph, it would not surprise me to see him earn a regular place in the City team.
The likes of Fernandinho and Fernando are much of a muchness really, but Delph will add more energy and drive to the City midfield. He could turn out to be a very shrewd signing and is already looking better value-for-money than Sterling.
Roberts will be regarded as one for the future, after having a big impact at youth level with the England junior teams. He may get a few cameo appearances in the new campaign, but is unlikely to feature heavily.
Chelsea have not really been that active in the transfer market this summer, with Asmir Begovic replacing Petr Cech and Radamel Falcao arriving as a replacement for Didier Drogba. Their squad depth will be at around the same level as last season.
However, it is city-rivals Manchester United who have been splashing the cash, with the likes of Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mateo Darmian all strengthening the Red Devils squad.
Arsenal have also been relatively quiet in the transfer market, but their only signing is a big one in all senses of the word in Czech ‘keeper Petr Cech. As many have said the former-Chelsea star will win the Gunners lots of points with his performances in the new campaign and the north Londoners should be around the top of the table.
Title outsiders Liverpool have also been busy in the transfer market, playing their annual summer game of transfer market Russian roulette with boss Brendan Rodgers holding the gun.
Manchester City are second favourites for the Premier League title in the new campaign at odds of 11/4, with Chelsea obvious favourites.
However the signings of Sterling and Delph have made the Citizens stronger this summer. Both players will give City that bit of extra drive and energy, which was greatly lacking last season.
It remains doubtful if City have finished their work in the transfer market just yet, with Wolfsburg attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne still being heavily linked with a move to Manchester by every man and his dog.
For me Manchester City cannot be written-off for the Premier League title. They have a strong squad that underperformed for a period last season that was fatal in their bid to retain the title. The new season will no doubt bring an extra determination amongst the City players to regain the title.
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