Jack Grealish and Harry Kane In, Bernardo Silva Out - How Man City Could Line Up During the 2021/22 Season

After suffering heartbreak in the Champions League final, Manchester City are freshening up their squad to compete on all fronts yet again next season.
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The Premier League are hours away from making Jack Grealish the most expensive signing in Premier League history, with Pep Guardiola looking to bolster his attack to defend his side's league crown and go one step further in Europe this season.

The likes of Bernardo Silva and Gabriel Jesus have been heavily linked with an exit, and though the Sky Blues have generated significant revenue from fringe player sales, they could offload a few first-team stars before the transfer window shuts on August 31.

Lastly, City will do everything in their power to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham, and should they manage to convince Daniel Levy to sanction a sale for the 28-year-old, the richness of attacking talent at Guardiola's disposal would be an even scarier proposition for the rest of the Premier League.


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How Manchester City could line up with Kane

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Though the likes of Aymeric Laporte, João Cancelo and Benjamin Mendy are expected to play a key role in the squad, the back four of Kyle Walker, John Stones, Rúben Dias and Oleksandr Zinchenko should start as first-choice picks for the 2021/22 campaign.

It has been reported that Guardiola intends to use Grealish as a number eight alongside Kevin De Bruyne, where the 25-year-old would compete for a place with İlkay Gündoğan, who has the Catalan boss' first signing as City manager in 2016.

Though Fernandinho has committed his future till 2022 to City, his game-time will have to be carefully managed, with Spain international Rodri expected to hold the middle of the park for a large part of the upcoming campaign, though Guardiola has positioned Gündoğan as a number six in recent years.

City boast a ridiculous number of high-quality options to fill the front three, and should Kane come through the door at the Etihad Stadium, there is no doubt he will be the main man down the middle for the Sky Blues, with there being doubts over whether Jesus can be trusted as the main source of goals for the club.

Phil Foden enjoyed a breathtaking campaign last term, replacing Raheem Sterling on the left side of attack, and though the latter starred for England at the European Championships, Foden could retain his place down the left, and his link-up play with Grealish could prove to be a strong and explosive weapon in City's arsenal.

On the right, Riyad Mahrez should start the season as the first-choice pick, with Ferran Torres ready to make an impact off the bench, with the Spaniard proving his salt to operate anywhere across the front three for his country this summer.


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How Manchester City could line up without Kane

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It could very well happen that City refuse to match Daniel Levy's valuation of Kane, so the club will have to move on quickly, with Guardiola expected to use the false-nine system that proved efficient for the Manchester side in the league-winning run last season.

Though Torres and Jesus are more than capable of operating as a centre-forward, City could position the likes of De Bruyne and Foden up top to create a fluid attacking system, where midfielders drop deep to attract centre-backs and feed wingers who make runs in behind the opposition defence.

The false-nine system however, proved short in City's gut-wrenching 1-0 Champions League final to Chelsea in May, as it indicated that Guardiola's side can be stopped if the opposition manage to win the tactical battle.

It is worth noting that the absence of an out-and-out striker could prove to a risky venture in crunch knockout ties during the business end of the season, and even for a side with such great strength in-depth, the importance of having a proven marksman within their ranks cannot merely be summed up in words.

Though City will go head-to-head with Tottenham to try and capture Kane, the club must have plans in place for starting the league campaign without a world-class striker, with just over a week before their Premier League opener against Nuno Espirito Santo's side in north London.


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