Having looked at the teams who finished in the top seven in the Premier League last season, there is one that for me stands out due to the strength in depth and quality of players in their squad. For once I’m not talking about Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal or Liverpool. This season it looks as if the blue half of Manchester is ready to step up and become one of football’s new superpowers. The so called big four’s monopoly of the Champions League spots was ended last season by Tottenham, and this season it might be a case of more than one of the supposedly bigger teams missing out.
Ever since Sheikh Mansour has poured his millions into Manchester City, the talk has been of attracting the biggest names in world football to the club and this summer so far has not been a disappointment. Yaya Toure, David Silva, Jerome Boateng and Aleksandar Kolarov have joined an already strong squad and that’s not the end of the spending. Mario Balotelli is set to complete a move for around £25 million with plenty of speculation that James Milner could soon be on his way from Villa for the same sort of fee.
We could be talking about the team already being in the Champions League had it not been for a succession of seven games drawn for the club, many of which consisted of City throwing away the lead. I don’t think many doubt that the team can finish at least inside the top four this season but whether or not they win the league is a different matter.
The caliber of players that the club can now attract is clearly evident, and of course having a bottomless pit of money available helps to sweeten the deal for the games top stars. There will obviously be those who are out of City’s reach, as shown with Kaka rejecting a move to the club, although the quicker that they reach Europe’s elite competition and add some trophies to the cabinet, the more big stars will flock to Eastlands.
What City have now is a massive strength in depth, although plenty of players will be on the move before the transfer window slams shut thanks to the Premier League’s new 25 player registration rule. The huge turnover of players season after season could potentially be a major hindrance to the team as well as the new found expectations of the fans and general footballing public.
It may not be this season that the team wins their first league tittle since 1968, but make no mistake, Manchester City are definitely a new footballing giant and will be for a very long time to come.