Manchester City Transfers: Why Lack of Signings Is Good for the Citizens
Manchester City, the 2011-12 Premier League winners, were derided in some quarters for buying the title. But their spending power amazed plenty more as they brought in the likes of David Silva, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko for huge fees over the previous two years.
This summer, City have spent precisely nothing so far.
They are the only remaining Premiership side who have yet to make an incoming transfer during the summer window.
Roberto Mancini might have a wealth of talent at his disposal, but he certainly will want to make additions before the season begins.
Here are five reasons, however, why not having signed anybody until this point is a good thing for City.
Lets the Successful City Team Continue to Gel
The current squad isn't bad; they have just won the Premier League after all.
What Mancini will be looking to do in this window is to add two or three key players for the squad, perhaps a first-teamer in there too.
In the meantime, players who have had just a single season with the club or even in the country get additional time to focus on their roles and performances, to fit in and try to get on with their teammates that little bit more.
Preseason tours are good for this, of course, as the players spend more time with each other. But each game played with the same group will bring a better understanding and a better gelling of the players.
Younger Players Get a Chance in Preseason
City might have spent hundreds of millions of pounds on the finest talent the global game has to offer, but they have also invested in infrastructure and youth development programmes.
As with many sides, City's end game is to provide a line of first-team possibilities from their Academy system, and preseason games are an ideal way to bed those youngsters into the thick of the action.
Should three or four early signings have been made in the transfer window, there is every chance that the likes of Luca Scapuzzi, Karim Rekik, Marcos Lopes and Denis Suarez may not have had an opportunity to get involved with the first team at this stage.
Shows Other Teams They Won't Continue to Pay over Odds Just to Get Players in
It is fair to say that, when Manchester City come calling for top players, teams immediately think of adding a premium on top of the market value of the player in question.
Nothing wrong with that in principal; that's just unfortunately the way things work.
If a team has the big bucks, rivals will take advantage of the fact. That's how transfers go.
In acquiescing so quickly to the over-the-top demands of some teams, however, City are perhaps guilty of spending a fair amount more than they needed to have done to bring in the players they wanted.
To some extent that is perhaps understandable; the fees were not exorbitant compared to the owners' wealth. But now with FFP coming into practice, they will need to at least lower their spending.
Taking a tougher stance with selling clubs is a start to that end, and if that means waiting a few extra weeks to bring in players, then so be it.
Lets Mancini Assess Differences in First-Team Players from Last Season
A sad fact of football is that natural progression does not always exist.
Young players do not get better year on year, a player can peak and dip very quickly, and a team who did well one season does not always get better the next.
Roberto Mancini will be well aware that different players' mentalities will play a role in their application and performances in preseason, just as much as any physical or technical aspects do.
Not having to worry about bedding in new players lets him properly assess any first-team players who have dropped their standards since last season or who perhaps have their mind on something other than the start of the season with City.
Fringe Players Can Press Their Case to Not Be Replaced
It's not just kids who can benefit from a good preseason; last year's bit-part players have a fresh chance to impress the management and show that they should be handed an increased role over the coming year.
Costel Pantilimon, Kolo Toure, Adam Johnson and Stefan Savic all had different reasons for their situations last year, but all were out of favour for large parts of the season and not in the first team.
These preseason friendlies give them a chance to press their case and prove they are as good and as reliable as the players ahead of them.
Or, perhaps, give them the chance to see they are never going to break through again—and seek a move elsewhere.