Manchester City fans and Pellegrini were riding high after the Premier League win two years ago, and then the Capital One Cup victory from last season. It did raise the question as to whether Pellegrini was at all the right man for the job. It was necessary to assess and understand the changes that would be required to restore City to the powerhouse they were.
It seemed like bringing down the average age of the team was a priority, especially with big rivals like Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal roping in fresh and new talent. What seemed to be another priority, was to get in more English players to accompany Joe Hart and James Milner, who were the only English players in the squad.
Pellegrini has taken a different approach by nurturing fresh home grown talent with promoting academy products into the first team.
This transfer window, City have been linked with two really high profile transfers and ended up signing Raheem Sterling for £49m and former Aston Villa captain Fabian Delph along with young promising 18 year old talent Patrick Roberts from Fulham.
How will these new transfers fare at Manchester City?
Raheem Sterling will be happy his future has been secure now, with plenty of speculation last season as to how it was a transfer that had the potential to drag on. Sterling stood firm on his decision to quit Liverpool but then, plenty have suggested that he could struggle to play week in, week out at Man City with Silva, Navas and Nasri his main competitors. Although if the 20 year old can replicate his best form there’s no doubt he’ll be a main stay in the City line up. He’ll give City another dimension with his play and his versatility being able to play across the front. At times, City became one paced and extremely predictable especially against sides who would drop deep, so his pace will certainly be beneficial for the team.
Fabian Delph was an unexpected signing by Man City, considering their transfer action in recent years, but with Delph being English and a strong season to boast of, City were clever enough to sign him on. Unlike Sterling, the former Aston Villa captain will have to work hard to establish a position with the likes of Yaya Toure, Fernandinho and Fernando, although throughout the last season they all showcased their weaknesses on the field. Delph will probably look to capitalise on that to be a success at City. He’s also expected to bring freshness to the City midfield, providing an energy that was lacking at times last season.
Signing Patrick Roberts will surely excite Man City fans, the 18 year old completed his £11m move last week from Fulham which is a signal that not only are City making plans for the present, but also for the upcoming seasons.
Roberts proved himself in the 2013/14 Youth Cup where he was splendid in the two legged final against Chelsea and he continued his fine form being the main player for England U17 in the European Championships last summer where they won the competition. He made 20 appearances last campaign for Fulham although he failed to score but that shouldn’t misguide you about his ability. His willingness to take players on and the ease with which he goes past them, makes him a player to watch out for.
Manchester City’s relentless pursuit of English talent just goes to prove that the team is undergoing major re-structuring, and maybe this will help Pellegrini get his team to where they used to be.
Will it be the start of a new era at Manchester City?
Let’s wait and watch!