The third and final part of the Manchester City midseason review series is a look at the treble winner’s attack. Following on from the review of City’s midfield and defence here is a look at how City have fared in attack so far this season. It is the final midseason review before the champions are back in action this weekend against Tottenham in the FA Cup fourth round.
Manchester City are more dynamic with Jeremy Doku’s arrival
Across all competitions, the goals have flowed for Manchester City. In 32 games in all competitions, Pep Guardiola’s side has scored 80 goals. While the goals have flowed there have been games missed chances have proven costly. The champion’s 2-all draw with Crystal Palace before the FIFA Club World Cup was a prime example of this. City’s 1-all draw with Liverpool was also another example of squandered chances proving costly. But despite a few other games that featured missed chances as a whole the City attack has fired more often than not.
Erling Haaland is Manchester City’s top scorer so far this season with 19 goals in all competitions. City’s World Cup winner Julian Alvarez is second with 13. Phil Foden is the European champion’s third-highest scorer with 11 goals in all competitions.
What has been of benefit to the European champions this season has been a wide variety of weapons up front. The past summer saw Riyad Mahrez depart the club for the Saudi Pro League. Jeremy Doku was brought in from Rennes and his addition has given Pep Guardiola’s side a different look in the final third. While last season City focussed on control to dominate their opponents this season with Doku’s addition they have embraced the chaos and the Belgian winger’s dribbling and speed have been a welcome addition. It has at times made the champions attack more dynamic and given them a new dimension in the final third.
Doku’s addition compliments City’s trusted weapons up front and out wide. Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva have primarily been used on the wings with Phil Foden slotting in on the right on occasion. The pair have showcased their ability which was already well known. But Foden has primarily shone in midfield this season, as has Bernardo Silva at times. The versatility of City’s attacking weapons is a crucial cog in the City machine.
Manchester City’s attacking player of the season so far
With Phil Foden being classed as a midfielder in the Manchester City midseason review series it leaves a host of candidates for City’s attacking player of the season to date. Erling Haaland continued his goal-scoring feats to have 19 goals in 22 games. But a foot injury has seen City’s number 9 miss City’s past 9 games. Jeremy Doku also made a flying start to life at the treble winners. His man-of-the-match performance in the treble winners’ 6-1 win over Bournemouth was a standout display so far this season.
The emergence and development of Oscar Bobb is another positive for Manchester City. While it is only early in his City career the Norwegian appears to be a future first-team performer. His class was evident in his late winner against Newcastle at St.James Park just over a week ago.
But for consistency and his growth this season Julian Alvarez is Manchester City’s attacking player of the season so far. He has played in multiple roles for Pep Guardiola and his game is developing as a result. So far this campaign he has scored 13 goals and added 10 assists in 30 appearances. Alvarez has quickly become a vital part of the champion’s lineup. His link-up play with Phil Foden has been a particular highlight. The sky is the limit for Alvarez if he maintains his strong start to the season in the second half of the campaign.
Pep Guardiola’s side has been potent again so far this season. 80 goals across 32 games in all competitions is a testament to this.
It would be a safe bet that the return of Erling Haaland from injury in the second half of the season may make the world champions even stronger in attack. But throughout his injury absence, City has shown just how damaging they remain in the final third.
It will continue to be a crucial asset for the champions as the season reaches the business end of proceedings.