After flattering to deceive in the Premier League last year, Manchester City knew they needed to make some moves in the transfer market if they were to be taken seriously not just in England, but Europe as well.
They already had a good squad, but the hallmark of an elite club is its ability to constantly improve its existing personnel and the Sky Blues certainly did that.
A certain Chilean remained elusive, but apart from it, Pep Guardiola’s side stocked themselves in every conceivable department to ensure their squad is one of, if not the best, in the Premier League.
The six players who arrived at the Etihad for an eye-watering sum of £216 million are:
Transfer Fee: £35 milllion
After Claudio Bravo’s calamitous performances for the Sky Blues last season, Guardiola knew getting a new No.1 was his top priority.
And Ederson Santana de Moraes, popularly known as Ederson, fit the bill perfectly.
Standing at 6’2, the 1993-born Brazilian had come off an impressive campaign with Benfica, where the Super Eagles had completed the treble (Primeira Liga, Taça de Portugal and Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira).
Some still consider Guardiola’s treatment of Joe Hart to be overly harsh, but the Catalan wanted a keeper who is comfortable with playing it out from the back and while it is still early days, Emerson seems to be a good fit for City.
Expectations are high from the Sky Blues faithful that Ederson, 24, will stay at the club for a decade at least and establish himself as one of best shot-stoppers on the continent.
Transfer Fee: £46 million*
*Potentially rising to £50 million
City let plenty of players go in the summer, notably club icon Pablo Zabaleta. And the man chosen to fill the combative Argentine’s shoes was Tottenham Hotspur’s flying fullback Kyle Walker.
A win-win situation for all parties involved, for Guardiola got a player who will give City plenty of dynamism on the right flank and Spurs got a hefty chunk of change in the sale. The Englishman is well-versed with the English top-flight, so acclimatisation won’t be a problem and the speedy defender should be up to speed in no time.
At 27, however, Walker doesn’t have a lot of time left if he is to leave a stamp on the Premier League and under Guardiola’s tutelage, has to weed out the inconsistencies that have dogged his game over the years.
Transfer Fee: £27 million
Considering the fact that Danilo is primarily a back-up option to Walker, the amount of money City paid for Danilo is exorbitant.
For the Brazilian was primarily utilised as substitute by Real Madrid for the past two seasons and the jury is still out on whether he can cope with the pace of the Premier League.
However, considering Guardiola’s emphasis on rotation, the 26-year-old can come in handy, especially since City will be competing for silverware on four fronts.
Position: Attacking Midfield
Transfer Fee: £45 million*
Potentially rising to £60 million
After Monaco’s barnstorming displays in Europe last year, it was expected that most of their brightest talents would leave for greener pastures.
And Bernardo Silva was among the first to jump ship for a considerable fee. The 23-year-old Portuguese is seen as an ideal Pep Guardiola player, one who is comfortable playing in any position in attack.
Silva admitted that the pace of the Premier League has surprised him, however, and it may be a while before City see the best of the 5’8 midfielder.
The former Monaco man may not have the built, but certainly has the footballing brain to succeed wherever he plays, not unlike David Silva, the man he is touted to replace at the Etihad.
Position: Central Midfield
Transfer Fee: £11 million
A player for the future and one not expected to play a part in City’s first team till at least 2018 is Douglas Luiz.
Picked straight from the Brazilian Serie A was the 20-year-old midfielder and City subsequently loaned him out to Spanish La Liga side Girona for the entirety of the 2017-18 season.
Very much an unknown quantity, Luiz has played for the Brazil U-20 side and is a silky attacking midfielder with plenty of potential.
Transfer Fee: £52 million
After City let Gael Clichy and Aleksandr Kolarov go in the summer, another gaping hole in their defence filled up.
They eyed Monaco’s rampaging fullback and managed to sign him without much fuss, albeit on a world-record fee for a defender.
At 6’1, Mendy is tall for a fullback and while he has played just the one game in the Premier League, his powerful presence on the left flank made enough of an impression for most.
Still only 23, the left-back can only improve under Guardiola and his physical attributes will serve him well in the robust environs of the English top-flight.
As a bonus, his left foot can swing in inviting crosses at will, which gives the Sky Blues an extra dimension in attack.