What’s the story?
With Manchester City’s convincing 5-0 win against West Ham in the FA Cup on Friday, it looked like things are finally turning around for the Citizens. But according to sports publication AS, Guardiola is planning to offload as many as seven players from his current City squad in the upcoming summer transfer window.
There are few surprising names in Guardiola’s list of players he wants to get rid of. Firstly, the full-back positions occupied by Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, and Bacary Sagna, while Aleksander Kolarov, goalkeeper, Willy Cabellero along with Jesus Navas and Yaya Toure are also all set to leave the Manchester City team.
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Pep Guardiola hasn’t yet got used to the pace of the Premier League and has suffered four defeats in the League this season, more than any team in the top six of the table. Guardiola’s men recently lost to strong title contenders, Liverpool on New Year’s Eve and are currently fourth in the table with 42 points.
The heart of the matter
Guardiola has been largely dissatisfied by the ageing squad who have been partly responsible for City’s horrendous defending this season. Jesus Navas hasn’t been convincing enough to be a part of the City’s young and established midfield which includes the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, and Leroy Sane. The centre back position has been a real worry for Guardiola with Vincent Kompany out injured and the unconvincing performances of Aleksandar Kolarov.
The City captain has been largely on the sidelines this season and Kolarov has struggled immensely to fit in his shoes. This could very well be the 31-year-old Serbian’s final season at the Etihad.
The real surprise, however, comes with the names of Yaya Toure and Willy Caballero, supposedly included in the list. Despite putting in solid performances for the team at the start of the campaign, it seems like he might not be in the former Barcelona manager’s plans. It comes as a shocker, especially since Claudio Bravo has been miserable between the sticks.
Although Yaya Toure has managed to sway his way back into Guardiola’s team, it might only be for a short while as age has caught up on the Ivorian and Manchester City will be looking for a worthy replacement for the decorated midfielder.
With seven possible players exiting the Etihad, there will be place for seven more established, world class players who fit Pep Guardiola’s profile. The way things are going for Manchester City, the fans will be hoping for the summer to come sooner.
The hardships of English football has severely taken a toll on Pep Guardiola and his decision to oust a few players might look like the pressure is getting to him. But most of the players in speculation have been unconvincing and were bound to exit the club in the summer.