He said: "Last season we were favourites too and finished 15 points behind and, from my experience as a manager, always in the beginning of the season, the new teams are the toughest ones.
He's a player of huge potential who is rated very highly here among the coaching staff and his own players", Shakespeare said after Gray impressed for England at the European Under-21 Championships this summer.
Anirudh Menon: Pep Guardiola and the fullback-heavy team he supposedly wants, Jurgen Klopp and his wingers-on-wings; Arsene Wenger and his new contract; Antonio Conte and his utter fury with everything and everybody; Jose Mourinho and his fabled second season 'magic'; Ronald Koeman and Wayne Rooney (has there been a slower coach-veteran pairing in history?); Mauricio Pochettino, Daniel Levy's refusal to up wages and Wembley; Slaven Bilic and Marko Arnautovic; Rafa Benitez and his facts...
After eventually becoming a professional gambler, he used some of those winnings to buy Albion in 2009, and has since ploughed £250m into the club. Hopefully the work we did last season - when being champions was not possible - we can see it this season because the work is done.
"We know better, I know better and they know me better".
"He wants me to keep doing the same style of game, starting the build-up".
"I am happy to be part of this group", he said. "That is the top (and only) priority, and the club will do all it can to achieve that". "We are going to see at the end of the season what happens, knowing how difficult it is". "I believe he can do well in the Premier League", Clement said.
City look stronger in attack too, with Bernardo Silva, bought from Monaco for £43 million, bringing extra creativity to the final third.
Swansea boss Paul Clement beat off several other top-flight sides to land Abraham and he expects the move to pay rich dividends as the youngster aims to prove he has a long-term future at Chelsea.
I think if you see the team last season and this season, (from) the four (pre-season) games we played, the fundamentals are the same.
The 20-year-old's instant impression left Aguero - largely unchallenged as the club's premier forward since signing from Atletico Madrid in 2011 - on the bench, although Jesus suffering a broken metatarsal against Bournemouth in February earned him a reprieve.
That untimely habit of springing beyond the last defender has not gone unnoticed by Jesus' mother Vera Lucia and regular matriarchal tips on the art of goal-poaching even inspired Jesus' telephone goal celebration.
"People say in the first news conference we are favourites". I'm honest in my job. They must also have pace and athleticism. I assure you that.
Brahim Diaz, 17, one of the fresh Academy products, has had a fruitful time in the youth ranks last season before tempting manager Pep Guardiola to name him on the match-day squad for the first time against Swansea in the EFL Cup, which he marked with a goal after a cameo with ten minutes to go.