Premier League managerial departures so far this season
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Manchester City have begun the season in impressive form and are second in the Premier League table after 11 matches. Pep Guardiola’s side also top their Champions League group and look set to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.
But it hasn’t been plain-sailing – a shock draw at home to Southampton and defeats at the hands of Tottenham and Crystal Palace illustrate that the Citizens haven’t quite reached top gear just yet.
Express Sport will now take a look at the team’s best and worst player as well as January transfer targets, before giving a final grade of City’s season so far.
Best player so far – Phil Foden
Man City have been playing without a recognised striker, but Phil Foden has been in imperious form as part of a front three this season.
The winger tore James Milner to shreds when City drew 2-2 with Liverpool at Anfield last month as he notched a leveller after the Reds had taken a 1-0 lead.
Foden then moved into a central position for his team’s trip to Brighton a few weeks later and found the back of the net twice, as well as contributing an assist.
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The 21-year-old looks like the real deal this season and he has been causing huge problems to the best defences in the league.
Most disappointing player so far – Jack Grealish
Jack Grealish joined the Citizens from Aston Villa for a British transfer record of £100million this summer.
But he has failed to hit the same heights he had found with ease during his time in the west Midlands.
After being handed the number 10 shirt following his arrival in Manchester, Grealish was thrust straight into Guardiola’s team.
But the creative genius has only found the back of the net twice for his new club to add to his three assists and has failed to even get on the pitch in two of City’s last four top-flight games.
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Guardiola will be expecting more of the talisman when the team return to action later this month.
January transfer targets
City desperately need a striker following Sergio Aguero’s exit in the summer.
Guardiola had set his sights on Harry Kane in the summer but his approaches for the Tottenham forward were rebuffed by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.
Guardiola could well pursue Kane once again in January, although the striker’s form has fallen off a cliff this season.
Dusan Vlahovic is another option for Guardiola, with the Fiorentina forward apparently attracting interest from some of Europe’s top sides.
And City could even launch an outlandish bid to sign Erling Haaland in January, with the player reportedly set to depart Borussia Dortmund next year.
Although at this stage it looks more likely that Haaland will stay with the German club until the end of the season.
If City can sign a top striker, they will be in pole position to land their fourth Premier League title in five years.
The Citizens create bags and chances so will be in dreamland if they bring in someone who can finish them off.
Overall grade – A
Man City should be incredibly pleased with their early-season performances and have put themselves in a strong position both domestically and in Europe.
It wasn’t until around Christmas time that City found their finest form last season and Pep will be hoping for more of the same this time out.
If they can build on their good form and keep their intensity levels sky high, it could be another successful season at the Etihad Stadium.
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