Everyone expects Manchester City to transform the squad this summer, but are there players available that will actually drastically improve them?
It is set to be a huge summer of change at Manchester City. Manuel Pellegrini’s future at the club is still uncertain, as are many of his players' futures. New blood is needed to reinvigorate the squad, but when you weigh up the potential options there may not be the quality of player available to transfer the squad in the way the fans would like.
In an article in Wednesday’s Manchester Evening News, each position of the squad was ranked as to whether City should stick or twist. Only two areas were ranked as “Twist” – central midfield and striker.
There is no argument against those positions being key this summer, but it will be easier said than done to strengthen to the level that would turn City back into title contenders.
In midfield, with Lampard leaving and Yaya Toure ageing, improvements are needed. Kevin De Bruyne, Paul Pogba and Ross Barkley are mentioned as possible targets.
With Financial Fair Play restrictions still in play, City would need to sell players before they could realistically made a move for Juventus star Paul Pogba. Barkley isn’t good enough – see Jack Rodwell – and De Bruyne is more of a wide No. 10 than a central midfielder.
City need someone strong and dynamic. Someone that can burst forward from the midfield to help the attack, but who is also defensively strong.
Unfortunately for City, there are no standout players in European football that are either good enough, or would be available for the club to pursue. Players like Geoffrey Kondogbia, Blaise Matuidi, Radja Nainggolan and Kevin Strootman fit the profile, but are unlikely to move or improve the midfield to the level City need.
Upfront the same problem exists. The MEN cites Alexandre Lacazette, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata as possible signings, with none of those three likely to leave, especially to England this summer.
Proven goal scorers are hard to come by, if already established they are unlikely to move and the emerging players like Harry Kane, Mauro Icardi and Bas Dost are always a risk.
Many expect City to make wholesale changes this season, but it may have to be in other positions where they are already strong, hoping they can then get more out of the players they already have in place.