Heading to Japan and South Korea for last summer’s pre-season tour, Oscar Bobb had a chance to impress.

The silky playmaker was the only member of Pep Guardiola’s squad for that trip never to have played senior minutes for City.

That alone was enough evidence for the Norwegian that there were high hopes for him in the coming campaign.

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Three second half substitute appearances against Yokohama F. Marinos, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid demonstrated perfectly the composure, poise and technique of a 20-year-old that suited City’s style down to the ground.

Late, late entries into Premier League games with Fulham and West Ham saw him dip his toes into competitive action before he was given 45 minutes as we struggled at Wolves.

After making his senior international debut in November, his major opportunity at City came in the Champions League trip to Red Star to close out the group stage.

With qualification already sealed, Guardiola rested several of his key names and gave the youngsters a chance to impress in a famously hostile atmosphere.

He did just that, scoring an unforgettable goal as he slalomed through the defence and slid the ball home before being mobbed by fellow Academy graduates Rico Lewis and Micah Hamilton.

Cameos at the FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia were followed by an exquisite pre-assist in the home win over Sheffield United, threading the ball through the eye of a needle for Phil Foden to cross.

However, it was his late substitution into the season-defining trip to Newcastle United in January that Bobb’s debut campaign at the top level will be most remembered for.

The Norwegian came on to the pitch with the fit-again Kevin De Bruyne and saw the Belgian score City’s equaliser all by himself.

Our midfield maestro needed help for the stoppage time winner though, curling the ball round the defence for Bobb to expertly take around the goalkeeper and maintain his balance to tuck home.

Everyone of a City persuasion went wild, with the players jumping on each other and pumping their arms in the direction of the fans tucked high up at St James’ Park.

When the final whistle sounded, Guardiola and his coaching staff were quickly on the pitch to mark the exceptional impact of both De Bruyne and Bobb.

That finish won the Premier League’s Goal of the Month award for January and played a major impact in returning the title to the Etihad Stadium for a record fourth successive season.

The talent was rewarded for his improved status amongst the squad with a new contract in February, keeping him at City until 2029.

90 minutes followed in the Champions League Round of 16 second leg with Copenhagen as well as the crucial 4-2 win on the road at Crystal Palace, with substitute showings coming throughout the remainder of the campaign.

Already with three major honours under his belt after one season as part of Guardiola’s relentless trophy hunters, there’s plenty more to come from Oscar Bobb.


Appearances: 26

Starts: Seven

Minutes: 834

Goals: Two

Assists: Two

In his own words

“It’s amazing playing with some of my idols growing up. It’s a dream come true.

“It’s strange talking to my friends back home and they always ask ‘how is it, how is it?’. In a way it is crazy but you do get used to it. 

“I think of course you build that trust over time. But every day training together, it helps a lot. 

“I think it’s about how much you demand it and want the ball as well. 

“I think I’m getting better at wanting it more and being more confident. I feel every day in training I’m getting better and more used to it.”

Pep on Bobb

“Txiki [Begiristain] at the end of last season said to me that in the Under 23s [last season] Oscar Bobb was the best player by far and I said: ‘OK [he’ll] go to Japan [on our summer tour] to start to train with us.

“And immediately Oscar got something that is the most important thing. That is to rely on his mates.

“It’s more important than relying on the manager. When the mates can say: ‘OK - this player can play with us’, that is the best success.

“And it was immediately. He can play in five positions, striker, right wing, left, in the pockets... [he is] so dynamic and the work ethic is unbelievable.

“He doesn’t feel much pressure. I don’t know what happens with players in the Academy, look at Cole Palmer - he is doing really well at Chelsea and I’m so happy for him and all the players [like] Rico [Lewis] and Phil [Foden].

“If he decides to stay, we have a player for many, many years.”