Analysing squad depth of Manchester City- How Pep Guardiola built the strongest squad in the Premier League 2021/22 season
It is but natural to observe how well Manchester City perform compared to the rest of the Premier League teams when fixtures start getting crammed up. A big reason for the same has to be the incredible squad Pep Guardiola has put together and we here at Alley Sport take a look at the squad depth of Manchester City and answer your question, how did Pep Guardiola build the strongest squad in the Premier League this season?
Squad depth of Manchester City- The Foundations
Manchester City have not been afraid to splash the cash ever since their takeover by the Emirati royal Sheikh Mansour back in 2008. The ambitions of assembling an incredible squad immediately to challenge for the Premier League and even the Champions League were high, but they soon found out it wasn’t as easy as it looked on paper. Englishman Mark Hughes was initially given the task, but only when City appointed Roberto Mancini in 2009 did their ideas start turning into reality.
The Italian started off in his first full season by spending big on the likes of Yaya Toure, David Silva, Mario Balotelli and James Milner who would from the core of the team for many years to come while getting rid of then favourites Robinho, Stephen Ireland and Sylvinho in a bold move. Even though the core changed significantly over the years, this policy of getting in big-name players every season and getting rid of any ageing squad members at the earliest ruthlessly defined how Manchester City would operate in the next few years, even under Chilean Manuel Pellegrini, Mancini’s successor.
Guardiola’s appointment to add finesse- Analysing the squad depth of Manchester City
Spaniard Pep Guardiola was coming to be known as a manager to transform entire clubs, with his stints at Barcelona and Bayern perfectly proving the point. Manchester City pounced when his contact at Bayern ended and much was expected when he took charge of the Citizens in 2016. At that time, even though City had won the league just the past season, their squad consisted of a more ageing core, something Pep immediately sought to address. And address he did, in an incredibly deep sense, spending well over £175 million on new recruits in his first season while getting rid of many fans’ favourites.
The Spaniard has been incredibly consistent with his transfer policy ever since his first season and has spent well over £1 billion in total. Any player deemed to be underperforming or not young enough is immediately shown out the door and young blood from the City Academy or abroad is brought in to take their places. This can be perfectly demonstrated by the significant incomings and outgoings and their age at the time under Pep’s regime as follows:
|Transfers In||Transfers Out|
|İlkay Gündoğan (2016, Age: 26)||Edin Dzeko (2016, Age: 31)|
|Oleksandr Zinchenko (2016, Age: 20)||Martin Demichelis (2016, Age: 35)|
|Gabriel Jesus (2017, Age: 19)||Jesus Navas (2017, Age: 32)|
|Bernardo Silva (2017, Age: 23)||Bacary Sagna (2017, Age:|
|Aymeric Laporte (2017, Age: 23)||Yaya Toure (2018, Age: 35)|
|Ederson (2017, Age: 24)||Joe Hart (2018, Age: 33)|
|Rodri (2019, Age: 23)||Eliaquim Mangala (2019, Age: 29)|
|Joao Cancelo (2019, Age: 24)||Vincent Kompany (2019, Age: 33)|
|Ferran Torres (2020, Age: 19)||David Silva (2020, Age: 33)|
|Ruben Dias (2020, Age: 23)||Sergio Aguero (2021, Age: 32)|
The Story as of Today
The result of such a consistent policy? A squad today filled with only the best of young, hungry players wanting to prove to the world just how much playing for Man City means to them. Even their bench looks like a team in itself ready to contest the title. Thus, they are looking very likely to win the Premier League and possibly the Champions League this season as well. It has taken shape over many years of following this ruthless policy, but Man City, no doubt, have the strongest squad depth today in the whole of the Premier League.
As such, we can conclude that such an efficient and ruthless transformation that Pep Guardiola has implemented in such a short span has truly revolutionised the way City will play for many years to come.
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