Former Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamann has tipped the Citizens for the Premier League title next season, insisting Pep Guardiola’s men are the team to beat.
City had an up and down campaign last term, eventually finishing 15 points adrift of table-toppers Chelsea, despite a strong start.
This season will mark Guardiola’s second in charge at the Etihad Stadium, with the Spaniard having captured the signings of Bernardo Silva and Ederson this summer.
And as Guardiola starts to re-shape his squad, Haman, who spent three years with City following his seven-year spell with Liverpool, is confident City can launch a title bid once again.
“I’m not sure we will see a different Pep Guardiola next season – but I am certain we’ll see a different Manchester City team this time,” said Hamann.
“I can’t see beyond them for the title. Guardiola inherited an old, unbalanced squad with an ageing defence, where all the full-backs were the wrong side of 30.
“The squad was very poorly put together before Pep arrived, and given City’s resources, that was staggering, really.
“I remember a game a couple of seasons ago. They only had one outfield player under 30 and although they’ve tried to lower the age profile, signing Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne, John Stones and [Gabriel] Jesus, I wasn’t surprised when they struggled to keep up with Chelsea last season.
“Stones is a capable defender but he simply didn’t have enough support last season, and in the end, it was problems in defence that cost City.”