It’s difficult to imagine that Manchester City fans had ambitions lofty enough to conceive that by 2014 they would be the most dominant team in English football, as well as one of the primary forces in transfer market. With resource not really an issue that you would associate with the blue side of Manchester, even with the exciting FFP rules coming into place, we’re expecting Manuel Pellegrini to get extremely busy this summer.
This Manchester City side is a difficult crop to pick holes in, with the more rational football fan understanding that perhaps allowing this team to gain experience together and not to interfere with the unique style and connection that they clearly have, should make it an even stronger proposition in the 2014/15 season, but this is the transfer window and there is no room for logic.
Karim Benzema (France)
With Sergio Aguero the only front man you can hang your hat on as a Manchester City regular, you must concede that there is a lack of killer instinct in Pellegrini’s final third. With many of their title winning goals provided by their incredible midfield and wing players such as Yaya Toure, Jesus Navas and the newly reformed Samir Nasri, the previous investments in attacking options are comparably weak. Edin Dzeko is always good for a goal off of the bench and is known to turn up in the big games, equally, Stefan Jovetic was a player tracked by many of world football’s top clubs only to end up in the shadows at The Etihad. Playing at the top level, Manchester City know they can’t allow such pivotal players to coast through their systems and are in need of a clinical forward with an eye for goal and nothing else. Frenchman Karim Benzema fits that bill perfectly. Benzema has had an incredible season in Spain, and up until their elimination at the hands of Germany, had a fantastic World Cup. His arrogance and confidence in front of goal could be the element missing from a Manchester City attack looking to dominate not only domestic football, but also their white whale that is the Champions League.
Angel di Maria (Argentina)
Another player to have an incredible domestic season and put in at least one performance worthy of the reward of a semi-final tie in the World Cup, Angel di Maria is a player that any side would give their left arms for, Manchester city would not need to, their war chest is adequately strong enough to support the needs of such an in-demand star. Following a Champions League final performance which put the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the shade, di Maria has been mentioned in as a potential signing for a lot of the world’s biggest clubs. Di Maria’s incredible intensity, fitness and tenacity make him a very rare animal in modern football. A player who seemingly comes alive when the pressure is on is worth his weight in gold, especially to a Manchester City team which has never really taken to European football, and often finds itself losing to the occasion as opposed to the opposition. The addition of a player such as Angel di Maria to a midfield consisting of Yaya Toure, David Silva and Jesus Navas, would create that perfect balance of raw power, incredible pace, intensity and drive, combined with the head for the big occasions that the Argentinian would add. A terrifying prospect for both the Premier League and Champions League alike.
Mats Hummels (Germany)
Not many people would argue that Manchester City’s biggest weakness is their defence. Captain Vincent Kompany is the star of the back four and has had to deal with an ever-changing centre-back partner, whether it’s Demichelis or Nastasic. A consistent back four is pivotal to a team’s dominance week-in and week-out, and with the addition of former Gunner Bacary Sagna to the right-back position and more than likely as occasional cover for the unsettled centre back position, it is clear that Manuel Pellegrini is eager to cement a more solid back line. Mats Hummels is a centre back option of, dare we say it, German efficiency. With the German international already slapped with a £20million take it or leave it transfer fee by Borussia Dortmund, and interest already floating around from Barcelona and Manchester United, Hummels is in high demand, and the team that captures his signature would not only be signing a top quality central defender, but would also be sending out a clear and powerful message to world football. These are the signings that Manchester City make as a rule, and with every summer that passes their team gets a little stronger. Is now the time for them to make that move from cult status to global dominance?