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Messi? Alaba? 3 positions Man City must improve for title challenge

In any regular league campaign, Manchester City might have been able to nick the PremierLeague title last term, however, Jurgen Klopp's side took things to a completely new level, going unbeaten for most of the season and ending the league campaign with an 18-point difference at the top of the table.

In a way, Liverpool's title win was a statement of the Premier League's evolution - in the sense that, a team has to have a near-perfect season to have a real chance of winning the league title.

While Manchester City have the quality to win the league in any given season, Pep Guardiola must now go above and beyond in the transfer market to ensure that his side can consistently out-perform every team they come up against, and that means making a few world-class additions to City's already stacked lineup, which has already welcomed Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres this summer.

Here's a look at the positions City need to strengthen as well as the players they could sign to fill those roles:

Centre-Back - Kalidou Koulibaly

Manchester City have already signed Nathan Ake from Bournemouth, but while Ake is capable of putting in solid defensive displays on a regular basis, he's not what you would consider a real difference maker in the heart of a team's backline.

Pep Guardiola understands this, which is why he's keen on signing Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly before the transfer window draws to a close.

Koulibaly has been flirting with a move to the Premier League for the past few years having attracted the interest of Chelsea, Manchester United and even Liverpool. He's widely regarded to be one of the best defenders in the world having proved his worth at Napoli every single season he's been at the club.

He boasts great defensive awareness, incredible aerial abilities and he has solid ball distribution skills - a trait that would allow him to fit into Manchester City's free flowing system quite nicely.

Left-Back - David Alaba

Benjamin Mendy's move to City hasn't turned out how Pep Guardiola would've liked.

Going into the new season the Catalan boss needs to ensure that the left flank is fully protected, and on that note, it would make sense for him to sign a new left-back before the transfer window draws to a close.

Amongst the left-backs Guardiola could possibly sign, Bayern Munich's David Alaba would be an amazing option considering the Austria international's experience playing at the top level, as well as his experience playing under Pep Guardiola.

Alaba has been an integral part of Bayern Munich's set-up ever since he made his first-team debut a decade ago. It would be difficult to lure him away from the Allianz, but signing him would be a massive boost to Bayern's chances of winning the Bundesliga title.

Forward - Lionel Messi

Manchester City have one of the best attacking set-ups in the world.

With the likes of Sergio Aguero, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus manning City's attack, scoring goals is never a problem for Pep Guardiola's side.

However, considering Messi's sudden availability at Barcelona, Manchester City cannot afford to miss out on bolstering their attack with a player many consider to be the greatest footballer of all time.

There's still a ton of uncertainty surrounding Messi's situation at Barcelona, but should Manchester City manage to sign him, his arrival would bolster City's chances of winning the Premier League title next season ten-fold.

Messi dominated Europe back when Pep Guardiola was still at the helm of Barcelona's managerial affairs - he could replicate the same level of success if he gets to work with the Catalan tactician once again.

Phillip Ekuwem
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Phillip Ekuwem

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