Manchester City have struggled to combat the difficulties imposed by the FIFA World Cup with much of their squad depleted due to international commitments of first-team players.
Nonetheless, Pep Guardiola has used the opportunity in America to showcase some of his talented youngsters within the City ranks against some of European football’s elite – and Liverpool.
Two defeats at the hands of Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund and a victory over Bayern Munich didn’t tell the story of City’s tour in America.
A number of young players and fringe players were given valuable playing time by Guardiola to highlight their ability and strengthen their case for a place in the starting eleven for the opening Premier League game of the season.
But what have supporters learned from the games? Here are five elements that should have fans excited for the upcoming season after watching the games in America.
City could have answered their defensive midfield issue
After turning 18-years-old on Monday, Gomes signed a professional contract with Manchester City, despite rejecting professional terms at Paris-Saint Germain.
The youngster came highly-rated, and it’s not difficult to comprehend why considering his performances in the second half against Liverpool and Bayern Munich. His ability to withstand pressure from opposition players, composure on the ball and potential to pass through onrushing lines could ensure he plays regular first-team football next season.
City target Jorginho joined Chelsea, and with a lack of bodies in midfield, Gomes showed his ability to potential force himself into the first team fray next season.
Like Gomes, his team-mate Douglas Luiz could also be under consideration by management as he indeed highlighted his ability during the games, so it could prove to be the reason why City don’t venture into the transfer market again this summer.
Bernardo Silva looks prepared for a tremendous season
Of all the first team players to play during the tour – all three of them – it’s safe to say Bernardo Silva showed precisely why he could become one of City’s most influential players this season.
His assist during the defeat to Liverpool in New York added with his performance against Bayern Munich in last night’s victory could be a sign of things to come this campaign.
Two mesmeric goals during the defeat of the German champions from wide areas saw comparisons made to Lionel Messi which could be a sign of things to come as City hope to defend their Premier League crown.
The 24-year-old didn’t start either game he featured in but certainly made an impression during his short time on the field – a reward for returning to pre-season earlier than expected.
City already have long-term replacements to first-team players
City have embraced the notion of long-term planning by signing some of the most highly-rated young players in European football such as Eric Garcia, Claudio Gomes, and Adrian Bernabé.
Long-term players such as Vincent Kompany, David Silva, and Fernandinho will all need replacing by City over the coming years, and this trio gave management a lot to ponder for their future with some exceptional performances over the three years.
Garcia, in particular, could prove a future City captain with his extreme composure in possession and maturity despite only being 18-year-olds.
Gomes proved himself worthwhile of the highly-sought after tag with his dynamic and energic performances at the base of midfield, while Bernabé’s creativity could see him well positioned to replace David Silva in the squad when he eventually departs for Spain.