Manchester City spent a lot of money during the recent transfer window and it could have been even more had deals for Alexis Sanchez and Jonny Evans not broken down on deadline day.
Much on the outlay was on full-backs, a serious problem position last season for Pep Guardiola and, some would argue, a weak point in City’s side going back a number of years.
Pablo Zabaleta’s legs finally gave out, Bacary Sagna also ran his final mile at the top level, Gaël Clichy had long since deteriorated, and perhaps the most able, Aleksandar Kolarov, was preferred in a centre-back role by Guardiola, meaning not only were City exploited by rival attackers on the flanks, but there was also very little productivity going forward last season. And to the surprise of few, all four are no longer at the club.
And there is a stat that shows just how much of an upgrade City are seeing in the roles after spending an initial £120.9million on Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo this summer.
In the entirety of last season’s Premier League campaign, Manchester City’s full-backs managed just THREE assists between them.
After just five games of this season’s Premier League, Manchester City’s full-backs have already topped that with FOUR assists between them.
Two of the assists have come from Kyle Walker, one from Benjamin Mendy and the other from Danilo. Full-backs are important in a Pep Guardiola side, both from an attacking and defending perspective, and these new recruits are already benefiting the team hugely with their ability to get up and down the pitch for 90 minutes.