"I am not happy", said Benitez, a Champions League victor with Liverpool, "but at the same time for me it's a challenge".
Defenders Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker and Danilo have all arrived at the Etihad Stadium along with goalkeeper Ederson and midfielder Bernardo Silva to take City's expenditure to £217 million (US$281 million, €238 million). Their star player Philippe Coutinho fancies a move to Barcelona, but the club are keen to keep hold of the Brazilian - how will that affect their early season form?
'I love football and I have always loved football, ' he told the club's website. But we can not forget that when we do something better than last season it's because we've been one year together.
Leicester famously defied odds of 5000/1 from the beginning of 2015-16 to win the Premier League that season, and bookmaker Marathonbet is offering the same on Brighton claiming the trophy this time around.
It was the inevitable reaction to feeble title challenges that saw Guardiola's City finish 15 points behind the victorious Chelsea side in third place and Mourinho's United drift over the line nine points further adrift.
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"Everybody expected him [Guardiola] to come and work his magic but I thought that he was the manager that had the biggest job and the biggest task in front of him". As for Watford, Marco Silva has brought in Will Hughes and Nathaniel Chalobah and he's putting two players in their midfield that haven't played much top-flight football.
"So whatever happens at the start of the season - and of course I hope we get off to a flier - we must stay calm and remember that it's where we are in the table after 38 games that matters, not the first few". As the original superstar Premier League goalkeeper, the Danish legend was instrumental in Manchester United's five league title wins (and the rest) in his time at Old Trafford.
Liverpool - The Reds have added Mohamed Salah and Dominic Solanke, but they haven't signed almost enough players to be challenging for the title. We bought three and the market is so demanding not just for Manchester City. Back in 1979, when we made the same step-up, we lost 4-0 at home to Arsenal.
Chelsea were sensationally upstaged by Arsenal in last season's FA Cup final and lost to them again in Sunday's Community Shield, but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger retains little margin for error.
"I don't think we're going to see that replicated (in England)", Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore said. It could be an exciting season at Old Trafford. Harry Kane is the best finisher with the types of goals he scores so I'd go for him if I had to bet on the nose but I do fancy Lacazette each-way at 10/1.
But who are the young English players seeking to make their mark in the competition?