There wasn't much enthusiasm behind Pep Guardiola's claim that Manchester City will be happy with their current squad for this season, and it wasn't hard to understand why.

City wanted to replace Vincent Kompany last summer but didn't see any value in the transfer market and subsequently were found wanting in defence. They have had the same objective this summer but are currently locked in the same conclusion, with a deal for primary target Kalidou Koulibaly not close to being agreed with Napoli.

After the highs of bringing in Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres so early in the window, there is growing concern among fans - especially as their rivals strengthen - that the Blues are heading into this campaign with the same problems; the club still haven't replaced Kompany, there remain doubts over left-back and the forwards will need to show they can score consistently.

And yet, even if City do not make any further additions that does not guarantee that they will suffer the same punishments in games.

Guardiola was asked approximately 408 times last year whether this squad needed a rebuild and while he agreed at least once most of the time he chose not to. Not only that, but he made clear that new signings could not be the only answer anyway.

This can't be ruled out.

It looks, as it did last season, that City look crucially short in defence and yet it was a combination of injury to Aymeric Laporte and poor form from too many others that exacerbated the issue. So while it would be a gamble not to bring in a player such as Koulibaly - and one Guardiola would rather not take - it is not unrealistic to expect considerably better performances and luck this season.

The same goes in attack. City had similar problems with their inability to finish or keep out goals in their first season under the Catalan coach to the extent that he tried to strengthen in all areas. While they succeeded at the back, a move for Alexis Sanchez flopped on deadline day and they were left with the same forward line that had left the manager unconvinced.

A team effort led by Sergio Aguero but with a much better effort from the supporting cast went on to break Premier League points and goal records.

There is good reason to doubt whether this squad is capable of besting Liverpool and everyone else this season, especially given how much inconsistency there was last year. But there are many players at the Etihad who have confounded expectations before and still have the ability to make early criticism and predictions look daft.

City will carry on trying to get crucial deals over the line in the transfer window, but in the meantime their current squad can lift their game