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'Young Man City squad are only going to get better' - former Citizen sees more to come

5:56 am AEST 14/5/19
Manchester City Premier League title 2018-19
Back-to-back Premier League titles and a total of 198 points across two seasons might only be the start, says retired frontman

The best is yet to come from Pep Guardiola's dominant Manchester City side, according to the club's former striker Paul Dickov.

City secured back-to-back Premier League titles with a 4-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday, becoming the first team to retain their status as England's top-flight champions since Manchester United in 2008-09.

The triumph came in the face of a phenomenal challenge from Liverpool, who finished a point and a place behind City with a haul of 97 – the third-highest total in the competition's history.

David Silva's clever assist for Sergio Aguero's first-half equaliser at the Amex Stadium set up a dominant final-day victory that allowed long-serving captain Vincent Kompany to lift the trophy for a fourth time.

That experienced core was similarly invaluable to City under Guardiola's predecessors Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini, but Dickov believes standout players from this season such as Ederson, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva mean any coming transition can be emphatically managed.

"I just think they are going to get better and better all the time," He said. "Look at the age of the squad.

"I know you've got Vincent, Sergio and David but look at Ederson, [Aymeric] Laporte, [John] Stones, [Benjamin] Mendy, Bernardo Silva, [Leroy] Sane, Raheem, Gabriel Jesus – they're all 23, 24.

"When you look at what they have won already at that young age and what they could go on to do… they are only going to get better."

EFL Cup winners City can complete an unprecedented domestic treble when they face Watford in Saturday's FA Cup final.

It would crown an incredible season, which Dickov feels already tops the achievement of a 100-point haul last time around – largely because of the sustained excellence of Liverpool's challenge under Jurgen Klopp.

"I thought last season would have been hard to beat – 100 points, 100 goals, breaking all sorts of records – but I think they have exceeded that this year," he said.

"For Liverpool to lose one game and finish on 97 points and not win the league shows you how good this Manchester City team are."

That solitary defeat for the Reds, a 2-1 loss to City as Aguero and Sane were on target in a knife-edge encounter at the Etihad Stadium in January, proved pivotal in the final reckoning.

"Back to the turn of the year, Liverpool were seven points ahead and could have gone 10 points ahead when City played them, but City beat them and got it to four points," Dickov added, before reflecting on a potentially damaging setback later that month that ultimately inspired Guardiola's men to greater heights.

"It could have been seven [points behind] after we lost to Newcastle [United], but then to go and win 14 games on the bounce shows you what a special team this is."