A very mediocre campaign last season saw Manchester City finish eight points adrift of winners Chelsea. It was not the kind of title defence that manager Manuel Pellegrini was expecting from his team. As a consequence, Pellegrini was expected to pay up with his job. This, however, has not happened and City have further shown their faith in the former Villarreal boss by breaking the club transfer record to sign players like Raheem Sterling.
City have never retained the Premier League title in their history, but they have come back to win it quite emphatically. It remains to be seen if the addition of Sterling brings back the attacking instincts within the team. After managing an astonishing 102 league goals in the title winning 2013-14 campaign, the team could only manage 83 last season. Even then, they ended up as the highest scoring team in the division. There is no doubt that Pellegrini wants to see his team score more goals and there could not have been a better addition than Sterling.
Sergio Aguero has touched new heights since his £38 million move from Atletico Madrid and he remains the best striker in the league by a fair margin. Sterling will be a great foil for the Argentine while the former Liverpool man is also capable of scoring when needed.
After the transfer fiasco for the last 18 months, it finally looks like Yaya Touré is set to stay at Manchester City. The Ivory Coast star had a lethargic 2014-15 season and it was a major factor in the sky blues losing out on the title. Pellegrini will have to especially concentrate on motivating Touré to get the best out of him. The Chilean will know that he has an untouchable player on his hands but without the right mentality. Sorting him out will give him a great weapon against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United. About the upcoming campaign, Pellegrini said:
“First of all to win titles. It is important to win a title — we will try to win all four.
“The Champions and Premier League are more important, and after that to be comfortable about the way we play the whole year and be competitive in all competitions. I hope we are going to continue further in the Champions League.”
There have been some key departures in the summer with the likes of James Milner and Stevan Jovetic leaving the club. Striker Edin Dzeko also appears to be on his way out, but City are certainly not finished with their transfer business. The club are still in talks with Wolfsburg to sign former Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne. Fabian Delph has been brought in as the home-grown addition to the squad, but Pellegrini may struggle to give him enough first-team opportunities to keep him happy.
Key Players to Watch: David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling
Last Season’s Position: 2nd
Important Signings: Raheem Sterling (from Liverpool) and Fabian Delph (from Aston Villa)
Key Departures: Stevan Jovetic (to Inter Milan), James Milner (to Liverpool), Scott Sinclair (to Aston Villa), Dedryck Boyata (to Celtic), Micah Richards (to Aston Villa)