5 Reasons Why It Is Vital Manchester City Are Busy in the Summer Transfer Window
After winning two trophies in Manuel Pellegrini's first season in charge, Manchester City will be keener than ever to reinforce their playing staff this summer in order to keep improving.
Time waits for no man and, particularly in football, things can change very quickly.
Remaining ahead of your rivals is a difficult task, especially with the financial restrictions the club face in light of the FFP sanctions placed on them by UEFA. City's net spend this summer is capped at £49 million.
Here are five reasons why the club need to be as busy as possible in this transfer window. Please feel free to use the comment section below to join the debate.
1. Chelsea Have Improved
In fact, if the season were to start tomorrow, most people would surely view them as favourites.
City need to make sure their transfer activity keeps them ahead of the London side.
It's arguable that Chelsea have the most tactically astute manager in the Premier League, and with the quality their new signings will bring—particularly Cesc Fabregas, who is a player capable of dictating matches with his passing ability—they will be a much stronger side than the one which finished third last season.
2. City's Squad Lacked Strength in Depth Last Season
Winning the Premier League title and League Cup in his first season represented a huge achievement for manager Manuel Pellegrini, yet a feeling pervades that if City had boasted more strength in depth, they could well have made a better fist of competing for four trophies.
Their signings so far—Bacary Sagna, Fernando and Willy Caballero—are obvious attempts to address this, adding extra quality in the areas City were light in last term.
It's vital to have competition for places all over the pitch, and City's transfer activity must ensure that is the case come August.
3. The "Homegrown" Element Needs Addressing
Premier League rules dictate that all top-flight teams in England must name a squad of up to 25 players, with eight of them being homegrown or under-21.
At present, City have 18 first-team players who fall outside of the homegrown criteria.
After the departures of Joleon Lescott and Gareth Barry, and with Micah Richards, Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair likely to follow, homegrown additions will be needed.
Many thought City would sign a homegrown goalkeeper, but the arrival of Caballero means the club must have plans elsewhere.
4. Additions Add Fresh Impetus
The best way to ensure a side's best players remain at their best is by adding new players. New signings can come onto a training field and raise everybody's game.
Take Samir Nasri as an example.
He was a player struggling badly during Roberto Mancini's final season in charge, yet last summer's transfer splurge, which saw players come and threaten his position, raised his performance level markedly.
Getting the best out of their current players is vital, and nothing ensures that more successfully than talented new faces coming through the entrance door.
5. Regression Is Not an Option
When City won the league in 2011/12, it was expected to be the beginning of their domestic dominance, but that summer saw them perform poorly in the transfer market.
As a result, they took a backward step. City finished the following season empty-handed, 11 points behind Manchester United in the league and beaten in the FA Cup final by relegated Wigan.
They have surely learned their lesson this time.
Back then, Brian Marwood and Roberto Mancini were in charge of the recruitment process. However, with their relationship strained, it seemed like a disjointed affair.
This summer, City have Txiki Begiristain executing Pellegrini's wish list.
That, you feel, will be a slicker operation.
Standing still after a successful season is doomed to failure. Now is the time to push on.