The story so far –
It was one of the busiest and tiring transfer windows for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City. A transfer window, after which, if they don’t win the Premier League or challenge for the Champions League, they’ll be slammed and will have to face a glut of critics and fans.
They have purchased big name players, with heavy price tags, especially to galvanize a defence which was not much celebrated and adored by Pep. He let go of all his fullbacks at once.
Hence, he has invested at the back with the purchase of keeper Ederson along with full backs Mendy, Danilo and Kyle Walker. To add to that, he has also spent on Bernardo Silva, who had a stellar show with Monaco last season.
With the teams all set to resume after the International break in the weekend, let us take a look at their strongest possible XI (4-1-1-3-1)
GK – Ederson
Looks sharp and disciplined. An aspect which was absent in Claudio Bravo’s game at times last season. A regular for Pep.
RB – Kyle Walker
All round act! He can pass, cross, shoot from distance, run at pace as he is one of the fastest defenders in the league, if not in the world. Strong in the air too.
CB – Vincent Kompany
He can bring any team together. He embodies team spirit. Best defender in the league if free from injuries, hands down. A true captain and a much needed presence for the blue moon to rise.
CB – Nicolas Otamendi
Looked shaky and error prone in the early stages of his Man City career and although he hasn’t let go of those traits totally, he has become much more dependable now.
LB – Benjamin Mendy
A much needed player for Man City. Can surprise oppositions by getting into advanced positions by grabbing the opportunities, is a good crosser and tackler.
CDM – Ilkay Gundogan
Plays quick passes, keeps the fluidity going and delivers when needed. Probably the most important man, to hold, shield and control the flow of the game.
CM – Kevin De Bruyne
Unusual position for him, but can take it for the team. Technically gifted, superb first touch and finishing is his speciality. Can play in quick long balls and some tiki-taka with David Silva.
LW – Leroy Sane
Fast, swift, agile and spectacular. This youngster can push the ball past the best in the world and run. The ideal player for a counter-attacking setup.
CAM – David Silva
Perhaps one of the best playmakers in the world right now. Plays passes and makes sure he is in the middle of whatever is happening. Takes the game forward.
RW – Raheem Sterling
Again, tactically suited to Pep’s style of football. He lacked the finishing touch but seems to have improved on it this season.
ST – Sergio Aguero
A 20-goal man. He has proved it season in season out. He can dribble, get into the box, play some delicious passes and what makes him the most lethal is, that he can convert half chances into goals.