Manchester City potential starting XI

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Manchester City head into the 2017/18 campaign with lofty ambitions amidst an ongoing summer recruitment that has so far seen the club outlay in excess of £200 million on six new players.

More money spent means more headlines to be written about manager Pep Guardiola, who will be under pressure to have something significant to show in the trophy cabinet by this time next year after a trophyless first season in England.

Here we give a brief overview of the players signed, what positions they could cover in the side and then attempt to fit them into a potential starting XI.


MANCHESTER CITY

Bernardo Silva – signed for £43 million from AS Monaco

Manchester City’s first piece of business this summer was for 22-year-old attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva and, judging by his scintillating performances for Monaco over the past few seasons, could have the potential to succeed his namesake, David Silva, in the coming years.

Bernardo Silva is a technically gifted attacking midfielder to add to the wealth of quality at Manchester City, and has an eye for a killer pass and polished finishing; he laid on 9 assists and scored 8 times from 37 appearances in Ligue 1 last season.

The Portuguese international would slot in nicely behind Sergio Aguero and/or Gabriel Jesus, depending on the system(s) implemented by Pep Guardiola.

Ederson Moraes – signed for £34.9 million from Benfica

A nightmare season for Claudio Bravo was the catalyst for City to spend big on a goalkeeper, which is exactly what they did for Benfica’s 23-year-old keeper Ederson Moraes.

The Brazilian has already played three times for City in pre-season, looking solid with back-to-back clean sheets against Tottenham and Real Madrid (he came off just before Real added a late consolation).

Ederson looks set to get the nod ahead of Claudio Bravo for the Premier League opener against Brighton & Hove Albion, and could hold down the position for the long-term should he fulfil his potential.

Kyle Walker – signed for £45 million from Tottenham

Under normal circumstances, a £45 million fee for a full-back is plain ludicrous. However, this transfer window has been anything but normal, and when added with the need at Manchester City for both quality and quantity in the full-back positions, the transfer becomes understandable.

In fact, there’s not much against the consensus that Kyle Walker is one of the league’s best, if not the best, at right-back. The 27-year-old is in the prime of his career and established as England’s first-choice right-back ahead of Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne.

He is equally adept at operating as a wing-back and a full-back and, given Pep Guardiola’s tendency for tinkering with systems, will be asked to adjust accordingly over the course of the season to both roles.

danilo

Danilo – signed for £26.5 million from Real Madrid

Heavily scrutinised Brazilian full-back Danilo arrived from Real Madrid as City’s next full-back addition, and one with the added benefit of versatility. Pep Guardiola has already given his word that Danilo will cover at right-back, left-back and occasionally in midfield.

Danilo is a physically imposing full-back at six feet tall and is certainly an upgrade, at least pace-wise, when compared to last season’s options. Given those credentials, don’t be too surprised to see the Brazilian used as a make-shift centre-half occasionally next season, especially if Guardiola tries playing with a back three.

Otherwise, Danilo will provide back-up for the likes of Kyle Walker and City’s next signing…

Benjamin Mendy – signed for £52 million from AS Monaco

Also known as the world’s most expensive defender – a line you’ll be sick of hearing from the media in only a few weeks.

The second acquisition from Monaco is French defender Benjamin Mendy, a player who lasted just one season with the French champions. Needless to say, especially after looking at his transfer fee, he is City’s new starting left-back.

The Frenchman is a handful going forward, making him very much a typical modern day full-back, but has not abandoned the defensive aspect of his game; he was a key member of a defence that was breached just 31 times in 38 Ligue 1 games last season, and featured in 12 of their 16 clean sheets.

manchester city
A back three would provide the platform for new signings Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy to bomb up and down the flanks at will, while also keeping a solid base in midfield with a host of quality options to come in and out of the squad. Yaya Toure, Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling are all excluded from this proposed line-up, illustrating the wealth of options at Pep Guardiola’s disposal next season.

Manchester City also signed Brazilian prodigy Douglas Luiz for £10 million from Vasco da Gama, but the 19-year-old is expected to spend the season on loan at La Liga club Girona, who are set to become a part of the City Football Group.

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