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Ranking the 5 greatest bargain signings by Pep Guardiola

Sheffield Wednesday v Manchester City - FA Cup Fifth Round
Sheffield Wednesday v Manchester City - FA Cup Fifth Round

Pep Guardiola is considered by many football followers to be the best in the modern era and to be considered at such a prestigious position in itself is an honor. The Spanish manager has managed some of the biggest clubs in the world and has produced superstars under him in a consistent manner.

Guardiola rose to fame as the manager of Barcelona, where his tiki-taka brand of football was revolutionary during its time. It was simple yet effective and was a joy to watch.

He then moved to Germany with Bavarian giants Bayern Munich which was another successful period. Pep Guardiola is now the manager at Manchester City and has made the club an extremely dominant force in Europe.

Pep Guardiola made several bargain signings in his coaching career

There will always be criticism of any successful person and it's no different for Pep Guardiola. He has sometimes been accused of being a 'chequebook manager', who relies on the wealth of his club.

The nature of modern football is such that the biggest football clubs will be spending money. However, it is unfair to accuse Pep Guardiola of being a heavy spender only when the Spaniard has made some brilliant signings at very low prices as well.

On that note, let's take a look at five of his best bargain signings:


#5 Alexis Sanchez

FC Barcelona v Levante U.D - Copa del Rey Quarter Final
FC Barcelona v Levante U.D - Copa del Rey Quarter Final

A young Chilean was making all the right moves in Italian Serie A and it grabbed Pep Guardiola's attention. He had just won the Champions League and was looking to build a team for the future. In the market for a skilled attacker, Pep Guardiola found his perfect candidate in the form of Alexis Sanchez.

The 拢23.4 million that Pep Guardiola paid for Alexis may have seemed quite a lot in 2011, but he had incredible potential and lived up to it at the Camp Nou.

In the three seasons he spent at Barcelona, despite minor injuries, Alexis was a reliable option. The Chilean scored 46 goals and registered 37 assists while playing from wide positions, winning La Liga in 2012-13.

@ronaldocomps Alexis Sanchez in 2016 won the Copa America and got 50g/a in 60 games. He ended up out of the top 30 Balon d'or contestants.馃ぃ馃ぃ馃ぃAlexis Sanchez en 2016 gan贸 la Copa Am茅rica y tuvo 50g/a en 60 partidos. Qued贸 fuera del top 30 candidatos al Balon de Oro.馃ぃ馃ぃ馃ぃ https://t.co/i3rJtFBQEw

To become a starter, Alexis moved to Arsenal and Barcelona managed to make a decent little profit from the switch. As such, he remains one of Pep Guardiola's best bargain signings.


#4 Xabi Alonso

FC Bayern Munich Unveil Recycled Ocean Plastic Kit
FC Bayern Munich Unveil Recycled Ocean Plastic Kit

If Alexis was Pep Guardiola's vision of a talented youngster, Xabi Alonso is the example of shrewd business. Alonso has had a glittering career at Liverpool and Real Madrid.

But eyebrows were raised when Pep Guardiola decided to spend around 拢8 million on a footballer on the wrong side of 30. But Oh! how the world was wrong and Pep was right.

Alonso showcased his ability, technical senses and match awareness in the three seasons he spent at Bayern. He may have aged and the pace may have gone down (Alonso was never a sprinter). But his vision, astute passes and dead ball specialization stayed as they were.

馃弳 Four trophies with Liverpool馃弳 Six trophies with Real Madrid馃弳 Five trophies with BayernHappy 4锔忊儯0锔忊儯th birthday, Xabi Alonso! 馃巿https://t.co/61MZmz05cQ

Alonso finally retired after his Bayern Munich spell but he didn't just make up the numbers. He was an important unit of Pep Guardiola's team and won the league title every time over the three seasons he spent in Germany.

#3 Oleksandr Zinchenko

Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League
Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League

Pep Guardiola's ability to identify talent is not restricted to the big leagues as he unearthed Oleksandr Zinchenko from Russian football. Zinchenko was playing Ufa in the Russian Premier League when Manchester City tapped him up on the instructions of Pep Guardiola for just 拢1.8 million. It surprised a few, but he was seen as an upcoming prodigy in Russian football.

Zinchenko has been a solid backup and bench option on whom Pep Guardiola has relied several times. The Ukrainian has featured in several key games for Manchester City as the club have an Achilles heel in the left-back position.

He was the starting left-back in the Champions League final in 2021, but Manchester City narrowly lost the final to Chelsea. He has also won numerous trophies with his club and has played significant roles throughout those campaigns.

Zinchenko is the reason we reached that UCL Final.Without him, Mahrez and KdB's goals wouldn't have mattered. Cancelo was off form. Our left flank was weak.Zinchenko is the reason we got to that UCL Final. Don't ever forget it. twitter.com/davidinho_21/s鈥

Zinchenko may not be a world-beater, but Pep Guardiola made an incredible bargain to acquire a Premier League quality defender for a paltry fee. With Joao Cancelo as the starter, Zinchenko is unlikely to enjoy regular involvement at Manchester City.


#2 Joshua Kimmich

FC Bayern München v Sport-Club Freiburg - Bundesliga
FC Bayern M眉nchen v Sport-Club Freiburg - Bundesliga

When RB Leipzig rose in stature in Germany, a teenager was putting in stellar performances for them. Pep Guardiola was the first to accurately identify the high ceiling that the player possessed.

The Spaniard made a move for Kimmich and acquired him for 拢7 million. When Kimmich's service to Germany and Bayern Munich is considerd today, one can understand how much foresight Guardiola possesses.

Joshua Kimmich: "My role model and reference has always been Xavi Hernandez. I want to play like him." https://t.co/UsZQNTsPCM

Kimmich is a highly skilled and versatile footballer who can play as a traditional right-back, a right wing-back and a central defensive midfielder equally well. The German footballer made the shift seamlessly and has established himself as a wonderful defensive midfielder.

Over the years, Kimmich has won major honors for Bayern Munich under Pep Guardiola and his successors. Club honors range from league titles to the coveted Champions League as well. He has also won the confederations Cup with Germany, for whom Kimmich will love to win the World Cup in Qatar next year.


#1 Gerard Pique

FC Barcelona v Granada CF - La Liga Santander
FC Barcelona v Granada CF - La Liga Santander

The Manchester United side under Sir Alex Fergusson had several talented defenders among their ranks. As a result, a young Spaniard failed to break into the first team.

Demoralized and in search of minutes, Gerard Pique was offered a way out of Old Trafford by Pep Guardiola. The then Barcelona coach decided to bring the La Masia graduate back to Camp Nou for a mere 拢4.5 million in 2008.

It was Manchester United's loss, and Barcelona's gain as Gerard Pique soon became one of the best centre-backs in the world.

Pique took to La Liga as the fish took to the water. He looked extremely comfortable on the ball, and proved to be a solid, clean tackler with a commanding personality.

Pique formed a stellar partnership with Carles Puyol and was an integral part of an all-conquering Barcelona side managed by Pep Guardiola himself.

Gerard Piqu茅 to the players after Memphis Depay's goal.."Guys, use your brains, more than ever. Easy, eh. Play with time, don't rush. Make fouls, throw yourselves to the ground, do everything. Stay calm, we cannot lose these three points, lads."Via (馃煝): @fansjavimiguel [as] https://t.co/CNG9nPII8g

Of late, age has caught up with the great centre-back. However, Pique has been a loyal servant to Barcelona for years. He has won almost every trophy there is to win for club and country in his career.

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Edited by Nived Zenith
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