Men's Team

Pep on the importance of 'irreplaceable' Bernardo and Walker

Pep on the importance of 'irreplaceable' Bernardo and Walker
Pep Guardiola says Saturday’s fine 3-1 win at West Ham only reinforced the importance of City having persuaded both Bernardo Silva and Kyle Walker to sign new contracts with the club.

Bernardo, who penned a new 12-month contract extension last month, delivered another majestic all-round display at the London Stadium capped by his crucial second half goal that put the league leaders 2-1 ahead.

Walker, meanwhile, who signed his own two-year extension last Thursday, again led by example, captaining the side with distinction as City made it five wins out of five to maintain top spot in the Premier League.

Reflecting on the game, the City boss admitted it was a huge boost to have had both Bernardo and Walker – who each joined in 2017 – further extend their Etihad stays given their importance to the squad allied to the loss earlier this summer of Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez.


“To have lost Kyle and Bernardo would have been so tough,” Guardiola reflected.

“It’s not about how important they are on the pitch – they are important figures and personalities and there are many things that are almost irreplaceable for many aspects.

“Because the characters to be in the team need one year, two years, three years and maybe the players that substitute the players (that leave) the quality is there, and they will be good.

“But to be the composed, to be what they (Bernardo and Walker) have is so difficult.

“It needs time and that’s why after losing important players like Gundo and Riyad it is really, really important as well (that they stayed).

“Have lost these players, to lose two more would have been incredibly important.


“That is why we are very pleased the club made the job and the players want to stay a little bit longer with us.

“So yeah, (we are) very happy.”

Walker again caught the eye with his athleticism and energy allied to his in-game intelligence proving key components as City inflicted a first defeat this season on the Hammers.

And asked whether Walker’s enduring level of impressive physicality surprised him, the boss offered a tongue-in cheek vote of thanks to Kyle’s parents.

“I would say I’m not surprised as I have known him for seven years! But I have to admit that when he is stable, happy whatever it is… wow he has the ability,” the City boss admitted.


“His mum and dad gave him some genetics that our mum and dad didn’t give to us!

“This is the reality and every time he is a better player, understands better the game with the ball he is much better, in all the aspects he is really, really good.”