Premier League 2022/23 Preview: Manchester City

Reuters

Predicted finish: 1st

Manchester City have won four Premier League titles in the past five years and following the introduction of Erling Haaland, will feel well equipped to challenge at the summit once again.

While winning the Champions League is the focus for both Man City and Pep Guardiola, the team will be determined to once again pip Liverpool and Co. to top spot and add to their impressive Premier League haul in recent seasons.

It has been a summer of adjustment for the Citizens. Guardiola has allowed Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling to depart for London, bringing in the towering Norwegian Erling Haaland as his main source of goals.

The arrival of Erling Haaland presents a challenge to both Guardiola and oppositions across the Premier League. While Sterling and Jesus were both key focal points of City’s tiki-taka, high-pressing style – Haaland’s display in the Community Shield final showed it may take some time for the team’s tactical balance to become attuned.

The traditional No. 9 gives City an entirely new dimension that, in time, the blue half of Manchester should be able to significantly exploit. Kevin De Bruyne will once again be the main focal point in the side and may even feel less pressure, knowing full well the striker he provides the ball to is one of the world’s most capable finishers.

City’s other first team arrival expected to have a significant impact is Kalvin Phillips, signed from Leeds United for a handsome fee of £42m. After starring in the relentless style of Marcelo Bielsa for the past few seasons, Phillips’ integration to the team should be more straightforward for Guardiola than that of Haaland.

The minimum expectation for Man City will be to once again finish top of the table, as Guardiola looks to become just the second person to win three consecutive Premier League titles after Sir Alex Ferguson.

One to watch: Erling Haaland

Athleticism. Speed. Finishing.

Man City have signed a player widely considered the most exciting young forward in world football. The clinical Norwegian started his footballing journey in the academy of his hometown club Bryne at just five years old.

After making his professional debut aged 15, Haaland racked up 16 senior appearances for his hometown club, until he was scouted by Molde to play under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The 6ft 5’ striker then went on to finish the 2018 season as Molde’s top goalscorer, notably scoring four goals in the opening 21 minutes in a 4-0 victory against Brann, who were league leaders and unbeaten at the time.

A move to Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg followed, where Haaland scored an impressive 17 goals in just 16 Austrian Bundesliga games, capturing the attention of Borussia Dortmund.

A similarly fruitful and goal-laden spell at BVB led to interest from both Real Madrid and Man City as the latter eventually secured his signature ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

The striker’s qualities are there for all to see, and Guardiola will be confident in his own managerial qualities to get the best out of his new No. 9 and once again challenge on all fronts.

First five fixtures: West Ham, Bournemouth, Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest

Transfers In

Erling Braut Haaland (£51.2m, Borussia Dortmund)
Stefan Ortega (free, Arminia Bielefeld)
Kalvin Phillips (£43.9m, Leeds United)

Transfers Out

Jayden Braaf (free, Borussia Dortmund)
Pedro Porro (£7.2m, Sporting Lisbon)
James Trafford (loan, Bolton Wanderers)
Gavin Bazunu (£12m, Southampton)
Fernandinho (free, Athletico PR)
CJ Egan Riley (free, Burnley)
Taylor Harwood-Bellis (loan, Burnley)
Ko Itakura (£4.5m, Borussia Monchengladbach)
Gabriel Jesus (£47m, Arsenal)
Darko Gyabi (£5.2m, Leeds United)
Tommy Doyle (loan, Sheffield United)
Romeo Lavia (£10.5m, Southampton)
Diego Rosa (loan, Vizela)
Ryotaro Meshino (free, Gamba Osaka)
Callum Doyle (loan, Coventry City)
Raheem Sterling (£50m, Chelsea)
Kwaku Oduroh (free, Derby County)
Lewis Fiorini (loan, Blackpool)
Zack Steffen (loan, Middlesbrough)
Oleksandr Zinchenko (£30m, Arsenal)
Arijanet Muric (undisclosed, Burnley)
Daniel Arzani (free, Macarthur)
Cieran Slicker (loan, Rochdale)
Yangel Herrera (loan, Girona)

Manchester City total spent to date: £97.9m
Manchester City total received to date: £166.4m

Manchester City net transfer balance: £68.5m

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