Monday, August 15, 2022

These 3 Players Need To Step Up For Manchester City In The Upcoming Season

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Sourav Bhakat
An ardent sports lover who loves to sleep, eat and watch Manchester City play. In that order.

Manchester City will be licking their wounds after a disappointing last campaign for them. Though they managed to finish fourth and reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in their history, there was clearly a negative atmosphere around the Etihad. The owners have invested a lot, not just in star players, but also on world-class facilities and the players enjoy the best infrastructure in the world.

They will have no excuse for some of their dismal performances on the field especially when facing their rivals against whom City were embarrassingly abject. Overrun in midfield, out-muscled in defence and clue-less in attack; these perfectly summed up the Blues condition against the big-clubs.

But City fans have reason to be optimistic, as the best person possible who could take charge of City and resurrect their fortunes, is incidentally at the club when they need him the most. Pep Guardiola exudes confidence; he emanates a reassuring feeling. Seeing him in charge has given the fans new hope and they feel that Manchester City have no reason to look back anymore.

But the players have to put their hands up and live up to their names. We look at three players who could play a vital role, come next season, at the Etihad.

SERGIO AGUERO

Arguably Manchester City’s best player ever, the little Argentine has always performed for his team. Head and shoulders above the other strikers in the league when fit, Kun etched his name in the history books when he fired home the winner against QPR in the final seconds to leap-frog Manchester United to gift City their first premier league title in 44 years. The City man’s low centre of gravity enables him to twist and turn effortlessly in tight spaces and he possesses the most lethal pair of shooting boots in the league. Of late, he has been succumbing to injuries which are badly disrupting his rhythm as he traditionally takes time to get back into groove. Pep will hope his striker is fit for the majority of the season so that he can add to the staggering 136 goals he has scored for City.

ILKAY GUNDOGAN

With Yaya Toure at the centre of most of the good things City have done over the years it was tragically fitting that his decline coincided with City looking like a spent force. The buzzing Yaya in midfield, picking up the ball and running through opposition ranks with surprising ease and banging in numerous crucial goals, has been replaced by a loitering and tired Yaya who looks least interested in contributing towards the team and helping out his team-mates.

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN CITY

Pep moved quickly in the transfer market and snapped up Borussia Dortmund midfield maestro Ilkay Gundogan. The recently injury ravaged midfielder comes as a fresh lease of life for the City midfield. His technical nous and drive from midfield will be a welcome respite for the lethargic engine room of Manchester City. Gundogan, despite playing only 25 matches in the league was amongst Dortmund’s top 3 players of the season. He had an impressive passing accuracy of 88% and Pep will be hoping the player rediscovers the form he was in before suffering multiple injuries.

KEVIN DE BRUYNE

On 30 August 2015, Manchester City announced the arrival of De Bruyne on a six-year contract, for a reported club-record fee of £55 million, making him the second most expensive transfer in British football history after Ángel Di María’s move to Manchester United in 2014. The Belgian came to the club on the back of a terrific season at Wolfsburg, where his performances had made him one of Europe’s most sought-after talent. He was initially supposed to be eased into the team and along with David Silva and Aguero was expected to take the league by storm and pundits put City out of each of their rivals even before a ball was kicked. But City suffered a spate of injuries which saw De Bruyne make a premature debut.

Though he flew off the blocks and looked as though he was born to play in the Premier League, the effects of not having a pre-season under his belt and a proper bedding-in period took a toll on him.  Despite the fact that he was City’s brightest spark in an otherwise disappointing season he will aim to be more consistent this time around and look to add handsomely to his 16 goals and 14 assists under Pep’s tutelage.

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