Men's Team

Guardiola: City style won't change for new signings

Pep Guardiola says he will not change Manchester City’s style of play to accommodate the Club’s new signings.

Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland, Stefan Ortega Moreno and Kalvin Phillips all arrived at the Etihad Stadium this summer to bolster the City squad in what was a particularly busy summer transfer window.

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Of the outfield players, Phillips provides Guardiola with a second defensive midfield option alongside Rodrigo, whilst Alvarez is comfortable playing across the forward line.

And, Haaland is the out and out striker City have not had since Sergio Aguero departed in the summer of 2021.

However, their arrival will not see the reigning Premier League champions deviate from an approach that has yielded so much success, and Guardiola says all four must adapt their games to suit City’s system.

“We are not going to change the way we play,” he told in Pep Guardiola: Unscripted, a new in-depth interview that will be released today. 

“We’re going to adapt the quality that the players have to be involved in the way we play, but we are not going to change the way we play.

“Why should we change the way we play when we did really quite well in these last seasons?

“But we want Erling, Julian and Kalvin, and of course, Stefan, we want the best of them, the best version of them, adapting what you want to play.

“I’m pretty sure it’s happened. It’s [been] just a few days together, but the feeling is really good for all of them.”

City’s busy summer also saw us bid a fond farewell to Raheem Sterling, who left for Chelsea, and Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, who both joined Arsenal.

The trio departed with everyone's best wishes, having all made a telling contribution to the most successful period in our history.

Only Aguero scored more goals for City under Guardiola than Sterling, whilst Jesus won plenty of admirers with his tireless displays up front and Zinchenko left having produced arguably his best performance as we fought back to win the Premier League title against Aston Villa on the final day of last season.

They are players Guardiola speaks incredibly highly of and the City boss says he feels privileged to have worked with all three.

“All we have done these seasons, without them it would have not been possible,” he added.

“Raheem has been the pace and we are a team that make all the passes and he makes this explosion. There’s something incredible, unpredictable [about] his runs in the right, left.

“I saw how he grew up in his ambition to score goals, to make an assist, and [became] more hungry, and more, in the good terms, selfish to say, I want more goals.

“He’s a guy who can play every three days, he would never get injured. He was top.

“Oleks arrived as a boy, coming from Ukraine, and he went on loan to Holland and came back and we wanted to loan him again, we wanted to sell him again.

“He said, ‘no, I want to stay.’ He was in the gym when everyone was sleeping and making extra training sessions when the training session was over, and he said, ‘my time will come’ and his time came, and he was there, he was ready, and he played incredibly well.

“He’s a top-class player and we will miss him a lot.

“Gabriel, maybe is the nicest person I ever worked with. It was a huge task to be alongside and to compete with the legend of this club, Sergio Aguero.

“Sergio Aguero had scored a lot of goals with us. So Gabriel, a young, young player from Brazil, comes to compete with him, and he was all the time ready to accept everything.

“He’s the best striker/defender I ever found to play in the three positions. [He] can play five minutes, he plays the best five minutes of his life. He plays 90 minutes, he will give everything.

“I had the feeling that in most cases we will miss him, but it’s football, it’s life, and the successes, all of them, will be our happiness.

“Hopefully they can enjoy in Chelsea, Raheem, and Arsenal, Oleks and Gabriel. What we have done in these seasons, everyone was involved and all three were important.

“It was a privilege for me to be their manager, and I’m very fortunate to have these players in the last six seasons to help.”

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