Where are they now? The Man City team from Pep’s first pre-season game

Quick Reads

Pep Guardiola has won every major domestic honour as Manchester City manager – and he’s certainly transformed the squad for the better.

The Spaniard’s first game in charge of City came in July 2016, as the Blues lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich in a pre-season friendly at the Allianz Arena.

City had 12 academy players in their squad and we’ve taken a look back at Guardiola’s much-changed side from that game.

Willy Caballero (Angus Gunn, 45′)

Caballlero became a cult hero with City fans and made 27 appearances for Guardiola before his contract expired in 2017.

The experienced goalkeeper then moved to Chelsea and now provides back-up to Kepa Arrizabalaga at Stamford Bridge.

Gunn failed to make the grade at City and joined Southampton in 2018, but was dropped to the bench after conceding nine goals against Leicester.

Pablo Maffeo

Maffeo impressed on loan at Girona FC in La Liga and earned plenty of plaudits for his performance against Barcelona.

“Man-marking doesn’t bother me – you know that there will be tough matches and it can be strange to always have someone around you,” Lionel Messi told DAZN.

‘I don’t remember [who the toughest man marker has been], truly. The one from Girona [Pablo Maffeo], maybe. That was exaggerated.”

The full-back made the permanent move to Stuttgart in 2018, but struggled to make an impact with the German club and is currently back on loan at Girona.

Tosin Adarabioyo

The defender has been at City since he was five years old and is regarded as one of the stand-out prospects from their academy.

After a year at West Brom, Adarabioyo has spent this season on loan at Blackburn Rovers but the 22-year-old has big ambitions for the future.

“In five years’ time I’d like to be captain of Man City and have won the Premier League and the Champions League. Definitely it can happen,” Adarabioyo told the Guardian.

Alexsandar Kolarov (Sinan Bytyqi, 66′)

Kolarov won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and two League Cups in his seven years with City before joining Roma in 2017.

The left-back revived his career in Italy, making over 100 appearances for the Giallorossi, and recently signed a contract extension through to 2021.

Bytyqi was forced to retire with a heart condition at the age of 22 in 2017, but the club gave him a new role as a loan scout.

Angelino

Angelino originally wasn’t able to break into the City team under Guardiola and had loan spells with Girona, Mallorca and NAC Breda.

The left-back sealed a permanent move to PSV in 2018, and he racked up 12 assists in all competitions last season.

His impressive performances in Holland saw City trigger their buy-back clause and they brought Angelino back to the club for just £5.3m.

Fernando (Yaya Toure, 56′)

Fernando found opportunities limited under Guardiola in 2016-17, with compatriot Fernandinho often preferred in a holding role in the City midfield.

The Brazilian signed for Galatasaray in 2017 and after two seasons in Turkey, joined Sevilla for £4million in the summer.

Toure didn’t exactly see eye to eye with Guardiola and the midfielder joined Olympiacos in 2018 after being deemed surplus to requirements.

The 36-year-old recently helped China League One side Qingdao Huanghai earn promotion to the Super League.

Fernandinho (Aleix Garcia, 73′)

Fernandinho has been a mainstay in City’s midfield under Guardiola but the 34-year-old has recently filled in at centre-back.

“He knows exactly the opinion we have about what he’s done at the club for many years,” Guardiola said. “He is one of the greatest players this club has had in its whole history.”

Garcia made eight first-team appearances under Guardiola and has spent the last three seasons out on loan.

Jesus Navas (Bersant Celina, 56′)

Navas was often deployed as an emergency right-back in Guardiola’s first season in charge at the Etihad Stadium due to injuries.

The 34-year-old returned to former club Sevilla in 2017 and they recently renamed their training ground to the Estadio Jesús Navas, in recognition of his achievements.

Celina had loan spells with FC Twente and Ipswich Town before joining Swansea City on a permanent deal in 2018.

Oleksandr Zinchenko (Fabian Delph, 45′)

Zinchenko arrived from Russian Premier League team FC Ufa as an attacking midfielder in 2016 and was immediately sent out on loan to PSV.

The Ukranian returned to City in 2017 and established himself in Guardiola’s first-team squad after developing into a left-back to provide cover for the injured Benjamin Mendy.

Delph played 22 times in City’s Premier League-winning season of 2017-18, but struggled for first-team opportunities last season and joined Everton in the summer.

Brandon Barker (Gael Clichy, 45′)

Barker came through the academy at City and enjoyed three productive loan spells NAC Breda, Hibernian and Preston. 

The winger never made a competitive first-team appearance under Guardiola and joined Rangers on a permanent deal in the summer.

Clichy was slowly eased out of the City team by Guardiola and the full-back signed for Turkish club İstanbul Başakşehir in 2017.

Kelechi Iheanacho (Wilfried Bony, 45′)

Iheanacho was highly rated at City but the striker fell behind Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus in the pecking order and joined Leicester for £25million in 2017.

After a difficult start to his Leicester career, the 25-year-old is finally proving his worth and has scored six goals in his last nine appearances for the club.

Bony rejoined Swansea City in 2017 but the striker has been without a club since the end of last season and is currently training with League Two side Newport County.


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