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Manchester City are the real deal, it isn’t just the Erling Haaland show

Despite their sheer dominance of English football over the last decade or so, this might just be the most dangerous Manchester City side yet. Indeed, they haven’t always looked perfect this season, with draws against Aston Villa (1-1) and Newcastle United (3-3) meaning they trail league leaders Arsenal by a single point. 

But the wheels have been in motion since — comfortably dispatching of Wolverhampton Wanderers, cross-city rivals Manchester United and Southampton with 3-0. 6-3 and 4-0 wins respectively — and it surely won’t be long before Pep Guardiola’s side gain the ascendency on Mikel Arteta’s Gunners and streak clear to win their ninth English top flight title. 

With summer signing Erling Haaland banging in goals for fun, you certainly wouldn’t back against Man City retaining the sought-after trophy come May — and by some distance. In fact, it already seems a foregone conclusion that the silverware will remain on show at the Etihad as the Sky Blues are as short 2/9 in the Premier League title odds

Haaland has made all the headlines so far this summer. The prolific Norwegian has sent records tumbling with 15 goals in nine Premier League games — leaving him just eight strikes short of the tally Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min set to share the Golden Boot last season (23). 

And while it’s hard to take the spotlight away from the 22-year-old due to him scoring at rate of knots, his teammates deserve credit as well. Kevin De Bruyne has been assisting goals for fun as usual, playing the key clog in this well-oiled machine with nine in total so far in the Premier League — six of which have come in his last four games. 

Phil Foden is already well on course to have one of his best seasons yet, as his hattrick in the Manchester Derby took his tally to five strikes in eight Premier League games — just four goals short of the nine he scored in the entirety of last season — and another goal against Southampton moved him onto six, while he also had three assists. 

Jack Grealish might not be producing the same kind of numbers as those aforementioned players, but he is starting to look better than he did last season when he appeared to struggle to find his feet after moving from Aston Villa. He got the Man of the Match award in the 3-0 win over Wolves, in which he opened the scoring in the first minute, and he’s becoming the creator for the creators — drawing away defenders to make space elsewhere. 

Their attacking options are truly frightening. Bernardo Silva has two goals and four assists already, Julián Álvarez looks a real threat from the bench and we all know how dangerous Riyad Mahrez can be — with a goal and an assist in the 5-0 Champions League win against Copenhagen proof of his quality despite firing blanks thus far in the first seven league games. 

Let’s not forget the wealth of quality in other areas as well, including İlkay Gündoğan, João Cancelo, Rúben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, Rodri, Ederson and so on. The list is endless. In fact, you could probably argue that this current squad is the best Guardiola has ever had at his disposal at Manchester City — and that’s no mean feat when you consider some of the greats they’ve had in that time. 

Haaland will keep getting the attention, but he’s just the final piece that was missing from the Man City puzzle over the last couple of seasons. For as long as he stays leading the line at the Etihad, the Premier League guides will keep tipping City for the title and they’re certainly going to be hard to stop. 

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