The standard of football played at the Etihad last season was arguably as high as the Premier League has ever seen. With the incredible talent available to Pep Guardiola, many City players will be feeling the pressure to perform in this pre-season.
The Cityzens had an excellent season last time out, winning the league comfortably ahead of cross-city rivals Manchester United. However, meticulous Spaniard Pep Guardiola will still have his eyes on improving the squad and will have certain players under his scrutiny this pre-season.
Manchester City’s pre-season tour of the USA to play in the International Champions Cup will be of a key importance to certain players on the fringes of Guardiola’s plans.
One such player is young Ukrainian Oleksandr Zinchenko. Now 21, Zinchenko is still struggling to break into the talented squad at the Etihad Stadium, making just 8 Premier League appearances last season.
Free-spending Wolverhampton Wanderers have shown an interest in bringing the player to Molineux this summer. They are thought to value the attacking midfielder at £16m. Considering Manchester City signed the player for just £1.7m in 2016 from Russian Premier League side Ufa, this would mean a quick profit for the Sky Blues.
The reality is that there is simply so much creative talent at Manchester City that becoming established in the starting eleven is an extremely difficult task. He even faces competition for his place from younger players, with the 18-year-old Englishman Phil Foden also a very highly rated attacking midfielder.
However, the 21-year-old will not consider his Manchester City career to be done just yet. He is likely to get game time in the International Champions Cup, and the pacy and technically gifted player will want to show what he can do in those games. If he fails to impress in the pre-season tour, Guardiola could not be blamed for cashing in on the player, with the rumoured £16m on the table from Wolverhampton Wanderers.