x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Ageuro: 'City can win many titles'

The team is ready for their first taste of Champions League football.

Sitting at English football's top table for the first time in a generation, the sky's the limit for Manchester City, as the club prepare for a first season in the Champions League and a genuine challenge for the Premier League title.

City ended their 35-year wait for a major trophy by winning the FA Cup in May and there is a widespread belief that more silverware will follow over the next few years.

Sergio Aguero, the Argentina striker who joined from Atletico Madrid last week, certainly thinks so. "I was very interested in playing here as it's a growing club," Aguero said.

"I think we have great players and a great team. I am playing at one of the best English teams at the moment, and there are many things that can be achieved. We can win many titles and hopefully it will be a top year for us."

Aguero has joined a squad crammed with talent. Man for man, City look as strong as any in the Premier League, but they lack title-winning experience.

Winning the FA Cup eased some of the pressure that had been building on Roberto Mancini and his players, and allows them to plan bigger and better things.

"You could hear some of the guys in the dressing room after the game whispering, 'Yeah, we want more of this'," Vincent Kompany, the City defender, said after the FA Cup final win over Stoke City.

"The club deserves this and this is a feeling we want again."

Twelve years ago, City were at a low ebb, playing in the third tier of the English football with a team of lower-league journeymen. Now, the club could be about to welcome the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and AC Milan to their newly-named Etihad Stadium for Champions League football.

"I think it's pretty clear that they are building a squad to fight for the title," Andre Villas-Boas, the new Chelsea manager, said.

Aside from Aguero, City have signed the France left back, Gael Clichy from Arsenal, and the central defender, Stefan Savic from Partizan Belgrade.

That will strengthen a defence that was the joint tightest last season, conceding 33 goals in 38 games, like Chelsea, while Aguero adds yet another name to a long list of high-profile strikers.

Fellow Argentina international Carlos Tevez should start the season at City, despite expressing his desire to leave the club to be closer to his family in his homeland.

Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli, Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz are also in the squad.

With fixtures likely to pile up for City this season, because of the Champions League, Mancini will need to juggle his players - something he struggled to do last season during the latter stages of the Europa League.

But with such a deep squad to call upon, City are expected to challenge on a number of fronts.

"I can't see the outside pressure being any more than what we put on ourselves to get better. We had a good season last year, finishing third and winning the FA Cup. But we still want to improve," James Milner, the City midfielder, said.

"We are not going to make any wild predictions about what we are going to do. We will get on with our business quietly but there is an inner belief that we will continue to move forward."

* Associated Press