Manchester City goal-scoring great Shaun Goater believes his former club will snap back at Liverpool next season following the signing of Nathan Ake from Bournemouth.
Goater believes their revamped squad – which reports claim will see will enjoy further investment before next season starts – will be a match for the new kings of English football.
“City have had some problems in the centre-back position and that is an area Pep [Guardiola] will have to sort out,” Goater told TEAMtalk.
“He will want to get the right people in to solidify a partnership with Aymeric Laporte and that is a huge part of how they come back from their disappointments this season.
“We look at Liverpool and as soon as they solidified that central defensive position with Virgil van Dijk and their goalkeeper, everything clicked into place for them and suddenly they became a real force.
“City have tried John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi and they play well when they are there with Laporte, but they have not replaced Vincent Kompany and that is the one position you feel they needed to strengthen.
“If you have two centre-backs who thrive in keeping a clean sheet as well as playing out from the back, they will get back to winning titles very quickly. With what they have got going forward, this team does not need to be rebuilt, but just tweaked in certain areas.”
Goater went on to suggest City’s revamped image as one of the richest clubs in world football is still hard for him to get used to. The former striker’s time at the club was notable for a lack of finances at all levels.
‘CITY MUST NOT APOLOGISE FOR SPENDING POWER’
City’s spending power has come under scrutiny since investors from Abu Dhabi bought the club in 2008. Last month, that scrutiny reached boiling point with the club charged with Financial Fair Play breaches.
However, City successfully overturned their two-year Champions League ban imposed by UEFA and Goater insists the club should not apologise for their wealth.
“City won this FFP court case a few weeks back and no-one can now saw that what they have done in the last few years is wrong in any way,” he said.
“My take is that City has an investor who wants to improve his business and he is looking to do that by investing in the academy and buying players. Other clubs have always done this, whether it is Manchester United, Leeds or whoever it might have been in the past.”
“Now, City has investors that have a lot of money and some of their rivals who have spent a lot of money themselves in the recent past don’t seem to like it.
“Manchester United have spent a lot of money on players in recent years and have not got to where they want to be, but the rest seem to be scared about Man City because they can spend big and get good players, but they should not apologise for that.
“I’m a City fan, we have been through a lot from the dark blue days to the sky blue days. We have to enjoy these moments.
“When I was at the club, we went through a spell when we didn’t know how bad it was, but I remember at one point they came to us and said we had to wash our own kit! We though the club was being tight, pinching pennies from us, but we didn’t know how close they were to going bust.
“As players, we used to get fined for wearing the wrong colour shirt or socks and it felt like they needed that money to survive, so when the club and the fans have been through all of that, they should enjoy the good times now.”
BT Sport will screen the final stages of the Champions League and the Europa League over the next two weeks.