This summer is a big one for Manchester City, as Pep Guardiola succeeds Manuel Pellegrini in the Etihad dugout. The Bayern Munich boss has said he was after a new challenge, and though things look pretty good at City, there’s many an improvement needed.
Despite their financial clout, City have failed to win successive titles, and this season is just the second campaign in which they’ve reached the last 16 of the Champions League.
Guardiola’s appointment is a clear signal of intent from City owners Abu Dhabi United Group in a bid to launch the club into one of Europe’s biggest football clubs, with results to match.
But ahead of the former Barcelona manager’s arrival in a few months’ time, what does he needs to do to take City to the next level? We’ve had a little think…
Find a successor for Vincent Kompany
There’s no doubting Kompany’s credentials, but the Belgian defender hasn’t managed more than 30 games in any of the last four Premier League campaigns.
City’s substantially inferior record without the centre-half is a plain and bare reflection on how much they miss their leader.
Guardiola is unlikely to be too happy with a skipper who regularly misses 10 games a season through injury, and nearing 30, Kompany’s days at the Etihad could be numbered.
Replace Yaya Toure with Paul Pogba
In a similar vein to Kompany, at 32 Yaya’s best days are behind him and his five goal tally is a far cry from his incredible 20-goal haul of two seasons ago.
Furthemore, Pep has already sold Toure once before when at Barca – to Man City – and it’s generally regarded the Ivory Coast star doesn’t fit Guardiola’s vision.
Paul Pogba could be the man to take City to the next level, and given his acrimonious fall-out with Manchester United, the Italian would doubtless enjoy taking the blue half of the city to further glory.
Raid Bayern for midfielders
City could still win the Champions League this term, but in truth they’ve failed to become any form of European powerhouse in the seven and a half years since the Abu Dhabi United Group took ownership.
To do that, some world class midfielders are required and Guardiola will know better than anyone who fits that bill.
Douglas Costa, Mario Gotze and Arturo Vidal are just three such players who could take City into European heavyweight contention.
Find full-backs for the future
All four of City’s recognised full-backs are over 30, and if Pep is to build a legacy at City, they’ll all need replacing sooner rather than later.
Barcelona’s Jordi Alba could be one such target, with the 26-year-old Spaniard a revelation since signing for Guardiola in 2012 with the Catalan giants.
David Alaba is another who is going to be heavily linked with the Citizens this summer.
Trust in City’s youth
Having reached the FA Youth Cup Final three times in the last 10 years, there’s little doubting the strength of Manchester City’s academy.
Instead of spending eye-boggling sums of money on the likes of Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi, Guardiola would be wise to hand more game-time to youngsters coming through Eastlands and create some sort of legacy.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.