Manchester City staying busy on transfer market

Juventus' Sami Khedira, left, and Monaco's Benjamin Mendy, right, challenge for the ball during the Champions League semi final second leg soccer match between Juventus and Monaco in Turin, Italy, Tuesday, May 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
AP Photo/Antonio Calanni

Manchester City has been one of the most active teams on the transfer market this summer. The team has added five players for a combined fee just short of £200 million, and more players could be on their way to Etihad Stadium.

The latest addition to Pep Guardiola’s side is 23-year-old left back Benjamin Mendy, who cost the team a hefty £49.3 million. The Frenchman had a phenomenal season with AS Monaco as it dethroned Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1 along with making it to the Champions League semifinals. Mendy made 39 appearances in all competitions, and went straight into the starting lineup after joining the team from Marseille last summer. He also debuted for the French national team last season, making his first appearance for France in a 3-1 win over Luxembourg in the World Cup qualifiers.

One of the most glaring weaknesses last season for City was its defense, as it lacked quality wingbacks. In the summer, the team has parted ways with Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov, creating an obvious need to refill the ranks. With Mendy coming in, the left side is now secure. On the right they have recruited English international Kyle Walker from Tottenham Hotspur for £45 million, and just like that they have two of the best players in Europe on their respective positions.

City also handed Real Madrid £26.5 million for Danilo, who will be the perfect backup player in the back with his versatility. It might seem like a lot of money for a squad player, but with City aiming to compete at the top of the Premier League and going all the way in the Champions League, it will need a deep team with quality players. Danilo can play either as a right back or left back, and could also fill in on the wings in midfield. The 26-year-old Brazilian international made himself a name while at Porto in the Portuguese league, and after two seasons with Real Madrid he’s now heading to Manchester.

Adding these three players might have come at a rather steep price, but when you are a club like City, that has a large treasure chest to pluck money from, the price for the players isn’t really an issue. After finishing a disappointing third last season, 15 points behind winners Chelsea, the club’s brass are doing everything in their power to give Guardiola the best team possible.

Up front they have added winger Bernardo Silva, also from Monaco, for £42.5 million. The 22-year-old Portuguese international has been highly sought after, and he will now compete with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, and Leroy Sane for a spot in the lineup. Silva gives them another playmaking winger that can drive play forward, and even if he doesn’t lock down a regular spot in the starting XI, he should still see plenty of playing time.

Another area where the team had some troubles last season was in net. City brought in Claudio Bravo from Guardiola’s former club Barcelona, but the 34-year-old Chilean international had a tough time adjusting to the Premier League and lost his job to Willy Caballero toward the end of the season. To address the issue, City went out and got 23-year-old Brazilian keeper Ederson Moraes from Portuguese side Benfica for £34 million, making him the most expensive goalkeeper in the world. Ederson had a strong campaign with Benfica, but the pressure will be on for him to perform at a high level in the Premier League.

City has clearly identified where it wants to improve, then went to work to make the deals happen. Spending £200 million might seem like a lot, but if it results in winning the Premier League or going all the way in the Champions League, then it will be money well spent.

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