2022/23 Season Preview: Manchester City
Can Manchester City finally translate their Premier League dominance to the continental stage?
The Cityzens will be looking to consolidate their domestic dominance while also looking to break new ground on the European stage in 2022/23, here's what the season holds for them.
Review of Manchester City's 2021/22 season
Winning the Premier League title and reaching the UEFA Champions League semi final would be considered successful for every other team but the expectations for Manchester City are so high that it felt like an average season at best.
Guardiola has now won the league in four of his six seasons in England since arriving in 2016 so the league title has sort of become devalued in the blue side of Manchester, what they really want is the UEFA Champions League.
Real Madrid ended those dreams in heartbreaking fashion and City also surprisingly failed to give a good account of themselves in the domestic cups.
State of affairs
Their antecedent in the league makes Manchester City the default favourites as they have been for the past four or five seasons, and with the signings they have made so far, 2022/23 won't be any different.
The signing of Erling Haaland is a significant boost in quality for a team that played most of last season without a recognised centre forward.
However, one two many departures of first team players could prove costly in the long run, hurting their squad depth and simultaneously strengthening their Premier League rivals as Raheem Sterling joined Chelsea while Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus both left for Arsenal.
Transfers: Ins & Outs
Kalvin Phillips from Leeds United for €48.75 and Julian Alvarez from River Plate for €17 million (joining now after being loaned back to River Plate for a year) are the major additions to the first team so far.
For the departures, Raheem Sterling joined Chelsea for €56.2 million, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko joined Arsenal for €52.2 million and €35 million respectively, Pedro Porro joined Sporting Lisbon for €8.5 million, Ko Itakura to Borussia Monchengladbach for €5 million, Arijanet Muric to Burnley for €3 million while veteran Fernandinho left as a free agent.
Big question: Can Manchester City go all the way in the UEFA Champions League?
Manchester City lost the final of 2020/21 and got knocked out in the semi-final of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League which indicates they are consistently getting closer.
But whether or not they can capitalise on that momentum and go all the way this season remains to be seen especially since their squad appears weaker and thinner man for man compared to previous seasons.
What would constitute a good season?
Just in case the memo wasn't clear enough in the above piece, only the UEFA Champions League trophy would count as success for Manchester City next season.
Admittedly, that is not exactly fair but Pep Guardiola's men have become victims of their own domestic success, it doesn't mean much anymore.