Pep Guardiola says he is anticipating the hardest Premier League season to date as Manchester City prepare to begin their defence of the title.
City travel to face West Ham at the London Stadium in their season opener on Sunday, as the defending champions look to start the season with a positive result.
Guardiola’s side have dominated the division in recent campaigns and are targeting a fifth league title in just six seasons, but the Spaniard insists the improving quality across the Premier League will make this the most difficult campaign so far.
“I have the feeling every time we start the press conference here that the season will be harder,” he told his pre-match press conference.
“When I say that, I think next season can’t be harder and it is. Every club is getting better, the managers are so exciting and that is why the Premier League is the best.”
City have strengthened their squad with a series of signings this summer, including the arrivals of forward duo Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez.
Having operated without a centre-forward for much of the past two campaigns, the club now have two exciting talents to call upon and Guardiola is confident the pair can add to his side’s options.
“It is important that they adapt to the rest of the team, that they have the relationship with their team-mates. All the players I’ve had since I came here, they have quality, otherwise they’d not be at Manchester City.”
City have been linked with signing a left-back before the transfer deadline, but appear set to miss out on the signing of Marc Cucurella to Chelsea. Guardiola is confident he has the required depth in his squad, but refused to rule out another new arrival at the Etihad.
“Joao [Cancelo] is there, Nathan [Ake] can be there. We’ll see, we still have until the end of the month.
“There are a lot of players around the world. But transfers are difficult, selling is more difficult than buying. Sometimes it can be possible, other times it isn’t. We’ll see.”