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Ilkay Gundogan of FC Barcelona during the La Liga EA Sports match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC played at Lluis Companys Stadium on September 29, 2023 in Barcelona, Spain.

The 6 players let go by Man City in the summer – & how they’ve fared since

Manchester City saw a number of treble-winners depart over the summer and we wanted to know how they’ve been getting on at their new clubs.

After reaching new heights last season, Pep Guardiola refreshed his squad by signing the likes of Josko Gvardiol, Jeremy Doku, Matheus Nunes and Mateo Kovacic.

But we’ve taken a look at the six players that Guardiola let go in the summer and checked out how they’ve fared since.

Note: we’ve only included players that made a first-team appearance for City, which excludes Burnley and England U21 goalkeeper James Trafford.

Ilkay Gundogan

Gundogan is unquestionably a City legend; the midfielder scored 60 goals in 304 club appearances and developed a reputation as one of the most clutch players in Premier League history.

He scored six goals in his final seven games, including two goals in the FA Cup final victory over Manchester City, before leaving for Barcelona at the end of his City contract.

“Ilkay has truly cemented his place in the history of Manchester City and we all wish him well in the next chapter of his career,” City director Txiki Begiristain said.

“And he leaves us knowing that he will always be welcomed at this football club.”

The Germany international has made a solid start to life in Spain, featuring in all of Barca’s eleven games to date and registering four assists in the process.

Barcelona's Joao Cancelo celebrates scoring his side's fifth goal during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Betis at the Olympic Stadium of Montjuic in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.

READ: Three nutmegs in a row? Barcelona have redefined the rules of performance art

Benjamin Mendy

Mendy signed for Lorient after his City contract expired at the end of last season. The defender has made three appearances for the Ligue 1 side.

Shea Charles

Charles made his City debut on the final day of the Premier League season in May 2023, appearing in the champion’s 1-0 defeat at Brentford. It would prove to be his only appearance for the club.

The 19-year-old defender was sold to Southampton for an undisclosed fee, signing a four-year deal at St Mary’s.

“Shea is a very talented, intelligent and mature young player with great potential to develop his game with us,” Saints boss Russell Martin said at his unveiling.

With 10 caps for Northern Ireland, we’re not about to disagree with Martin’s sentiment. The youngster has made 10 appearances for Southampton this season, as they look to bounce straight back to the top flight.

Riyad Mahrez

City paid £60m for Mahrez in 2018 and he scored 15 goals from 47 games in the treble-winning campaign – but he was an unused substitute for both the FA Cup and Champions League finals and Guardiola decided to cash in on the winger.

The Algeria international signed for Al-Ahli in a £30million deal and Mahrez provided an assist for Roberto Firmino in his first Saudi Pro League match in August 2023. That just feels unfair.

He has a total of three goals and four assists in nine appearances to date.

Aymeric Laporte

Laporte left City to join Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr in a deal worth £23.6million.

The 29-year-old joined City from Athletic Bilbao in January 2018 for a then-club record of £57million and helped City win 12 major honours. But made just 24 appearances in 2022-23 and the arrival of Gvardiol made his departure somewhat inevitable.

“Aymeric has been an excellent player for Manchester City during a great time for the club,” Begiristain said.

“He fit into the team seamlessly upon arrival in 2018 and played a key role in many of our successes over the years that followed.

“The form of the other defenders in the squad made it hard for him to find sufficient game time in 2022-23 and we respect his decision to seek a move elsewhere.”

The Spain international has made 10 appearances for his new club and remains first choice for his country too.

Cole Palmer

Palmer scored in the Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup matches in August, but was surprisingly sold to Chelsea for £42.5million.

Despite being just 21, the forward has bought swagger and confidence to Stamford Bridge and already feels like an integral part of Mauricio Pochettino’s improving side.

“He is a very talented player and he has the quality and he surprised me when I arrived because it was the day before the transfer window closed,” Pochettino said after Palmer’s stellar performance in the 4-1 win at Burnley.

“The way he reads the situations and what the team needs in every situation, he can be the player who can link with his team-mates.”


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