Share Comments By Joe Bray 09:00, 12 JUN 2019 Sport opinion Manchester City players have had mixed fortunes this week. Get the biggest daily stories by email Subscribe See our privacy notice More newsletters Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Could not subscribe, try again later Invalid Email For many, the final round of international fixtures in the 2018/19 season was unnecessary, but the past week could prove invaluable for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City.
With some of City's treble-winning squad taking part in the inaugural Nations League finals in Portugal, others were trying to help their countries to qualify for the European Championships next summer or were building up to the Copa America.
It has been a productive week for the likes of Bernardo Silva , who won his fifth trophy of the season, and Gabriel Jesus, who looks to be heading into the Copa America as Brazil's first choice striker.
But for John Stones and Kyle Walker there were wake-up calls that might influence how Guardiola acts in the transfer market.
And Guardiola was also able to see some reported targets in action as City decide which players to pursue before the transfer window closes.
Read More Gabriel Jesus can win Liverpool FC battle to send Man City a reminder of his talent The Sane dilemma
City insist they want to keep Leroy Sane despite plenty of vocal interest from Bayern Munich - but it's hardly an ideal situation for the winger to be spending a week among many Bayern players.
Reports say Bayern pair Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka have spent the international break trying to recruit Sane, while Serge Gnaby became the latest player from the Bundesliga champions to publicly praise the City man. As long as Sane is with Germany, there is very little City can do.
Sane scored from a right wing position against Belarus, showing Guardiola his adaptability at City, which may be useful next season as Bernardo Silva continued to shine for Portugal.
Bernardo lifted his fifth trophy of the campaign, and won the Nations League Player of the Tournament. The midfielder is becoming undroppable, meaning he may be utilised on the wing more often. It's just as well Sane showed he can operate on both flanks.
Read More Bernardo Silva should set Man City best in Ballon D'Or challenge Defensive reinforcements needed
After Southgate hinted that a lack of playing time at City contributed to Stones' high-profile mishaps against the Netherlands, the defender was dropped for England's second match with Switzerland. Southgate then declared that the 25-year-old would only be picked again when he was playing regularly at City.
Guardiola now has a choice - to back Stones with the game time he needs to regain his England spot, or commit to buying a fourth option at the back. Unfortunately for Stones, Guardiola is likely to use his Holland horror-show as justification to press on with finding a new centre-back.
Stones' defensive partner for the Three Lions, Harry Maguire, showed some promise in a more possession-based system, while Matthijs de Ligt only furthered his status as one of Europe's best talents. Both have been linked with a move to the Etihad.
Read More Kevin De Bruyne shows his Man City captain credentials with John Stones defence Guardiola also has a decision to make at right-back after Kyle Walker was also dropped after a disappointing performance against the Netherlands. With Danilo linked with an exit, a need for cover at full-back could have accelerated.
A re-think in midfield
Last season, City's failure to sign a defensive midfielder was not a disaster, but this summer that position is more imperative.
However, City have shown they won't replace Fernandinho unless the player fits the system, and Guardiola now has two more options in the important holding role among his current players.
Fabian Delph and Oleksandr Zinchenko have both excelled at left back over the last two seasons, yet both looked at home in midfield for their respective countries. If Guardiola wanted to wait another year, the pair showed they are capable to be trusted in midfield along with Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan.
Read More Man City fans think they might have found transfer solution after Oleksandr Zinchenko shines for Ukraine Jesus making a point
Some tenuous reports have suggested City will allow Gabriel Jesus to leave this summer and bring in another second striker.
With Jesus scoring three goals in two Copa America warm-up games, he is set to start the tournament as the Selecao's first choice striker with Neymar ruled out through injury. Jesus has an opportunity to make Guardiola wake up and trust him more in the big games.
Sergio Aguero will also lead the line at the Copa America, and Guardiola will be watching closely as both of his strikers audition for a starting spot next season.
Read More Manchester United and Man City to battle for Harry Maguire - reports Read More Brazil coach pleased with Gabriel Jesus change ahead of Copa America