The odds on Manchester City reaching the Community Shield and having no new signings to put on show would have been more than generous.
Yet that is exactly the situation the club find themselves in, and in many ways we shouldn't be surprised.
The club have a staggering £430 million net spend over the past five years, and that is not a business model that can continue long term.
The objective of it was to bring them to the top level and win trophies, and last season it was gloriously achieved as they became Premier League champions.
So there is no need to go crazy and rip up a formula for success and re-construct the team. Yes Manchester City are ambitious and want to make their mark in the Champions League, but they were unlucky last season, knocked out with 10 points, a mark usually enough to take them into the knockout stages.
So looking into the transfer market this summer, who do City actually need?
The squad was well stacked in the first place, with two key players competing for each position, and so far Roberto Mancini is doing a good job with his rotation policy - Because clearly his squad are happy, and not making noises about moves away.
Even players linked away, Edin Dzeko, Aleksander Kolarov, and Adam Johnson appear in fact happy in Manchester, and want to carry on playing for the club.
City are playing it sensibly, there is no need to pay crazy money for players they simply don't require. They have also kept hold of Nigel de Jong, a key player even if he didn't start as many league games as expected last season.
It is apparent the club want to strengthen in defence, and a midfielder could be signed too to take Hargreaves' place in the squad, but mega money offers do not appear to be forthcoming despite rumours linking them with a move for Daniel Agger.
City are simply sitting back, waiting for others to make their move, and then they may choose to pounce. They have kept all four of their key strikers and there is no need to buy any more when the perfect mix is already at their disposal.
Then there are the twin factors of the Financial Fair Play regulations on the horizon, and the fact City get overcharged for players generally thanks to their reputation for paying big money. When City are interested, selling clubs hike up the price tags simply because they know City have the ability to pay.
Again when City's need to buy is at a minimum, this is another reason to leave things as they are. Perhaps most key, is the club's inability to shift dead weight from their wage bill and free up finances.
Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz are two such players, signed by Mark Hughes, who are draining the club financially and proving hard to move on. The board are right to say to Roberto Mancini that until these pair are sold on then signings are on hold.
They have swept all before them in pre-season, looking stronger than ever, and there are a host of talented young players in there too who will add depth and competition for places.
So it may be surprising that City have yet to make a move, and they will surely before the season is out, but there are a host of reasons why they are playing the waiting game at present, and we believe the club are doing the right thing.
Are City right to stick rather than twist - Or do they need to start spending?
image: © Gene Hunt