Thus far Pep Guardiola’s managerial reign of Manchester City has been characterised by extremely bold decision making in terms of both his team selection and reshaping of the club’s squad.
Quintet fall out of favour with Guardiola
In addition to only playing Yaya Toure in one of his team’s five competitive games this season, despite the Ivorian being consistently influential for Manchester City since joining them from Barcelona in 2010, Guardiola has also dropped Eliaquim Mangala from his squad, after deeming the 25-year-old, who the club signed from Porto for £32m in August 2014, to be surplus to his requirements.
Subsequently Guardiola has also allowed Mangala along with the experienced trio of Wilfried Bony, Joe Hart and Samir Nasri to leave the club temporarily, as the 45-year-old manager has acted decisively to redesign his squad, which he has strengthened by signing a quintet of players who each have the potential to become key players for Manchester City during the current season.
Guardiola’s new recruits
In total the club have paid out just over £117.1m in transfer fees, which has enabled Guardiola to recruit Claudio Bravo, IIkay Gundogan, Nolito, Leroy Sane and John Stones, as the Spaniard endeavours to engineer a team capable of winning both domestic honours and the Champions League.
City’s impressive start to the season
At present Guardiola is making excellent progress towards doing that, as in addition to enjoying a perfect start in the Premier League by winning their first three games of the season, City also qualified for the group stages of the Champions League courtesy of an emphatic 6-0 play-off round aggregate victory over Steaua Bucharest 6-0.
Hart heads list of departures
Despite playing in the second leg of that tie, Joe Hart has now been loaned out to Torino for the remainder of this season, with Guardiola making the bold decision of selecting Claudio Bravo and Wily Cabellero as his two main goalkeeping options for the current campaign. After having made 348 appearances for Manchester City, for whom he signed from Shrewsbury in 2006, Hart’s future undoubtedly lies away from the club since Guardiola perceives the 63-times capped England internationalist as being unable to develop into the type of sweeper – keeper, which the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager desires to have in his team.
Three other players who are not to feature in that this season are Wilfried Bony, Eliaquim Mangala and Samir Nasri, who have joined Swansea City, Valencia and Sevilla respectively on season – long loan deals.
Guardiola ingeniously reshapes City squad
Those, along with Joe Hart’s move to Torino, were all completed on transfer deadline day, after Guardiola had signed each of his primary transfer targets.
Given that the Catalan has logically reshaped his squad over the course of this summer, by initially recruiting new players, before allowing others whom he deemed surplus to his requirements to leave.
In the process of doing so Guardiola has made some brave and bold decisions, but the early signs are that they will yield very profitable dividends for City during his first season in charge of the club.