Manchester City are a team that has the potential to be unstoppable next season.
Pep Guardiola’s side won back-to-back Premier League titles but were pushed all the way by rivals Liverpool on the home front.
In the Champions League things haven’t exactly gone to plan as an elusive first European crown continues to elude them, but based on transfer activity in the summer so far it’s clear that City means business.
Julian Alvarez has arrived at the Etihad Stadium following his loan spell in Argentina, while a blockbuster £51m deal to bring Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund has also been confirmed.
The 21-year-old is arguably considered the best striker in world football and his lethal touch in front of goal could be the difference between being a top team and simply unstoppable.
While Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus are expected to move on, City have been heavily linked with three Premier League stars in the form of Brighton’s Marc Cucurella, Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips and Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka.
If any of these players make the move, it could be game over for some clubs in the title chase.
City’s first team in the envy of most world footballers, with the Spanish head coach boasting a squad so good he could name two completely different starting XIs and be a match for almost anyone in the Premier League.
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Here’s a look at the glorious dilemmas Guardiola could face at the start of the new season.
Goalkeeper: Ederson or Zack Steffen
There is no doubt that City have one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Ederson between the sticks.
His shot-stopping abilities and ball-playing style make him a crucial part of Guardiola’s squad and with Steffen in reserve, City are in good shape for the new season.
Right back: Kyle Walker or Joao Cancelo
Certainly, Walker and Cancelo are two players who would usually be part of Guardiola’s best XI.
Both players are among the best full-backs in world football and whether they play at left-back or right-back, City are blessed with defensive talent and attacking flair that make them a real threat in all areas of the field.
With Cancelo’s eye for an assist, he is surely one of the most valuable tools in Guardiola’s arsenal.
Left back: Oleksandr Zinchenko or Marc Cucurella
The left-back is an area that Pep will be happy to strengthen.
Besides Cancelo, Zinchenko is quickly becoming a very reliable part of Guardiola’s team as as he grows in age he is clearly gaining in confidence.
Brighton’s Marc Cucurella has been linked with a move this summer and based on his impact on the south coast there’s no doubt he could be someone with a very promising future if he were to make a huge move at City this summer.
Central defender: Ruben Dias, Juan Laporte, John Stones or Nathan Ake
Quite simply, City have an embarrassment of riches at the heart of defense with four centre-backs who could fit into most teams in the league.
Dias and Laporte are probably Guardiola’s most reliable options, with the perfect mix of power, leadership and grace on the ball.
That said, with Stones and Ake on standby, it’s clear that City are well-stocked for any challenges that come their way.
Defensive midfielder: Rodri or Kalvin Phillips
Rodri was undoubtedly one of the finds of last summer as he fit right in to the deep midfield role.
With Fernandinho gone, Guardiola will be looking for another option in this role with the heavily linked Leeds star.
As we’ve seen under Marcelo Bielsa, Phillips is more than capable of playing the quarterback role with ease and could be a great option in City’s midfield.
Central midfielder: Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Jack Grealish
How Pep will pick his best XI with players like this in his ranks, I’ll never know.
De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva are certainly among City’s top stars and they will be chosen to play in the biggest game.
However, there’s no doubt that Gundogan and Grealish are also trustworthy and may even be options to slot into elsewhere in the squad if an opening emerges.
Right wing: Riyad Mahrez or Cole Palmer
Ongoing speculation over the future of Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus means the club’s attacking line could look different this season.
Palmer certainly showed some real quality glimpses last season and could play an increased role in Guardiola’s plans for next season.
With Mahrez the other option coming from the right flank, City will be delighted with the quality available from inside forward in their squad.
Left winger: Phil Foden or Bukayo Saka
Like so many others in the squad, Foden is a player who could play just about anywhere in Guardiola’s XI.
His quality means he’ll be an almost certain starter next season if he can stay fit.
Saka has been linked with a move to City and if he decides he wants to play Champions League football this term there is no doubt the versatile Arsenal star will be in the hunt for the Premier League champions. League.
Centre-forward: Erling Haaland or Julian Alvarez
Two new stars that will have City fans salivating at the thought of seeing them in action.
Haaland is the ultimate all-around striker with pace, power and one of the most accurate shots in world football, making him a threat to any defender he meets.
As for Alvarez, the 22-year-old certainly isn’t just arriving as a team player with the poacher undoubtedly a player who will be trusted to lead City’s line in some big games this term.
Here are the two starting XIs Guardiola could select this term.
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