As the first season of Pep Guardiola's reign at Manchester City comes to an end, we have been impressed by the offensive prowess of the Catalan's team.
Players like Leroy Sané and Gabriel Jesus have come in this season and made an amazing impact along with old faces from last season like Sergio Agüero, David Silva, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne. City's offense is on fire and scores goals for fun, and we must expect plenty of evolution on the goal-scoring department as Guardiola continues to coach his team in the upcoming years.
But one thing we should definitely not count as a positive this season is City's defense. The highly controversial replacement of Joe Hart with Claudio Bravo led to an overwhelming number of goals conceded and the performances of players like Nicolas Otamendi, Aleksandar Kolarov and John Stones (at least in 2016) have not been too great.
The group of defenders is aging and running out of contracts, which definitely affects how well (or badly) they play. Guardiola's system that needs fast, ball-playing defenders doesn't fit with City's current group of players, and after years and years of buying attack-minded, expensive superstars, City are very likely to focus on the back line this summer.
Seriously. That is actually true.
According to multiple reports from multiple sources over the last few weeks, Pep Guardiola has actively planned a number of signings focusing on his defensive group. A new goalkeeper will be coming in, and it seems quite clear that this goalkeeper will be Éderson Moraes, Benfica's rising star that's been perhaps the best keeper in Europe this season. He's an amazing shot stopper who's also good with his feet, which perfectly fits Pep's requirements.
In front of Éderson, we are likely to see a few new faces. Fabinho from AS Monaco is a target thanks to his versatility. He's a Fernandinho-type player who can excel at multiple positions, and although he's been an amazing midfielder at Monaco, his original position is right-back and that is a big necessity for City thanks to Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta aging quickly.
On the left side, we should also see two or three new names: Schalke 04 left-back Sead Kolasinac can be signed for free in the summer, and after rejecting a move to Chelsea in January the Bosnian seems keen on moving to Manchester. The Hernández brothers, Lucas and Theo, are also possible targets. Both are Atlético Madrid players and can play anywhere on the left side of defense and midfield, and City might be looking at signing both.
Danny Rose from Tottenham Hotspur is also a possible left-back target, and given Guardiola's intent of signing at least one English player in the summer, Rose could be the perfect addition thanks to his talents, his knowledge of the Premier League and his ability to play in a possession-based system like the one used by Mauricio Pochettino.
The summer promises to be a very busy one from City: the loaned players (Hart, Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony and others) are all going to be sold, many players will be leaving without signing a new contract and a LOT of defenders will come in. And if Pep's targets all come in and fit the system as well as we expect them to, get ready for the City machine to score and AVOID goals for fun.