It must be said that for a former Premier League winning club, last season was a disappointing year for Manchester City. Despite finishing third in the league in what many fans regarded as a “transition season”, expectations were not met. Pep Guardiola’s first season in charge saw both moments of utter brilliance in attack as well as inexcusable defensive errors. Luckily for Fantasy Premier League managers and Manchester City fans like myself, Pep has been making big moves in the offseason and is showing no signs of stopping until he has the squad he wants.
Currently, Pep has brought in five new players for first team action in Ederson, Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo, with a few targets still on the radar for Manchester City.
STAR MAN – Sergio Aguero (11.5m)
No surprises for my star man pick. Sergio Aguero has led the Manchester City attack since 2011 and has been a force in FPL year after year. Despite scoring 20 goals and assisting 5 times, many say Kun Aguero had an “off season”. We saw him miss considerable game time last season to a couple of red cards. Perhaps more concerning for FPL managers was the arrival of Gabriel Jesus to Manchester City. Initially we saw a reduction in Kun’s minutes as Jesus took his turn to lead the line, but Aguero firmly cemented his place at the starting striker with Jesus supporting from a wide position.
This year, I am expecting Kun to return to his usual self and completely dominate in FPL and this season, we get to own Aguero at the lowest price we’ve seen in years at only 11.5m! Pep has defended Aguero numerous times over the past months publicly, crediting both his work ethic and his natural goal scoring ability. I have no doubts Aguero will be the main man at City this season. Additionally, I am expecting Yaya Toure’s minutes to be managed carefully which could put Aguero back on penalties. If you can afford to use a precious forward position on Aguero this season, I think he’ll be a season keeper.
HIDDEN GEM – Leroy Sane (8.5m)
As things stand right now, Alexis Sanchez is a Gunner which puts Leroy Sane as the first choice starting left winger for Manchester City. Sane took about half the season to crack the Manchester City starting line-up, but he took off like a jet in the second half. Some of his key attributes include blistering pace, a wicked left foot with crosses, and a poacher’s instinct. These all helped him gather 5 goals and 7 assists in FPL in only 1,700 minutes.
We have to monitor the development of Alexis Sanchez’s rumoured transfer, but Sane will likely be first choice in the starting line-up if Man City fails to sign the Chilean wonder. I would be weary of rotation this season, especially in the winger position. Bernardo Silva looks to add a wrench into FPL managers works as he, Sterling, and Sane look set to battle it out for two positions. Throw Alexis into the mix and we could be looking at the destruction of Sane as an FPL asset. It will be important to monitor the situation carefully.
BARGAIN – Kevin de Bruyne (10.0m)
A bargain at 10.0m? Something must be wrong here. No, I assure you Kevin de Bruyne will offer unparalleled value for your premium midfielder position. Kevin de Bruyne’s season had its ups and downs, but I think most would consider his 2016/17 performance to be uncharacteristic of his quality. He finished as the 5th highest scoring midfielder behind Sanchez, Alli, Hazard, and Eriksen.
Kevin de Bruyne managed to lead the league in assists last season with 21 fantasy assists. In the 2015/16 season, de Bruyne managed 7 goals in 25 appearances. In 2016/17, he managed 6 goals in 36 appearances. The reason for the drop in goals last season for Kevin, I believe, is that he hit the woodwork more than any other player in the league. He hit the woodwork 9 times, 3 more times than the next highest Paul Pogba (6). I consider woodwork hits to be mostly luck, and I can’t see Kevin de Bruyne hitting the post more often than last season. Add another 3 or 4 goals to de Bruyne’s tally and he is easily the best value for points output next season. Man City also have a great start to the season. He’s been in all of my drafts and I don’t plan on removing him anytime soon.
PREDICTED LINE UP
Walker – Stones – Kompany – Mendy
Sterling – De Bruyne – Silva – Sane
If you have enjoyed this early view of the fantasy potential of Manchester City, be sure to check the other teams here.
Written by Luke Thunberg (@FPLThunshot)