Pep Guardiola has guided Manchester City to the pinnacle of the footballing world during his tenure at the club. Domestic dominance was secured swiftly, but this year they finally won the one prize that has alluded them, the UEFA Champions League trophy.
Impressive signings underpin Guardiola's success
City's sustained success under Guardiola can be attributed to his excellent managerial skills and his aggressiveness in the transfer market. The Spanish coach has made improvements to his squad year after year, with just a rare few flop signings.
City will expect to see many long-term servants leave the club this summer, including Kyle Walker and Ilkay Gundogan. But still, they are clear favourites to secure back-to-back UCL victories next season. In the outright sports betting markets, Manchester City is offered at a price of 2/1 to defend their maiden honour in the 2023/24 season. There's no doubt that Guardiola will replace his outgoing stars with fellow world-class options.
The Spanish coach's talent identification is probably as strong as it comes in the footballing world of tactical masterminds. He has signed established world-class players, as well as players that would later become world-class under his tutorship. But who have been his greatest signings of all, in terms of the contributions they have made in City's quest to win an abundance of major honours?
Rodri Hernandez was signed as a replacement for City legend Fernandinho. It was seen as an impossible task at the time: the task of truly replicating the quality of the departing Brazilian. However, Rodri has proven to arguably possess a level of quality that is greater than the peak-level quality Fernandinho produced.
The Spaniard operates as the deepest midfielder in Guardiola's system and as well as regularly winning the ball back, he helps to dictate the tempo and keep City on the front foot. He has become absolutely vital to Guardiola's setup both in and out of possession.
The defensive midfielder topped off his impressive City career to date with a goal in Istanbul that made his side European Champions for the first time.
Bernardo Silva has been nothing short of a sensation ever since he made the move to the Etihad Stadium. He established himself as an undisputed starter for the team shortly after arriving from AS Monaco in 2017. Whether deployed in midfield or out wide, he is absolutely vital to Guardiola's setup.
Silva offers technical ability in abundance, as well as a tendency to press the opposition relentlessly off it. Many members of the 2016/17 Monaco squad have struggled elsewhere, but Guardiola certainly signed the best of the bunch when he acquired the Portuguese playmaker.
The German midfielder has been forever reliable under Guardiola. Whether deployed as a defensive midfielder, or in a more advanced role he consistently delivers. In addition, he is the definition of a big game player. His late goal won City the Premier League title against Aston Villa on the final day of the 2021/22 season.
Gundogan was named club captain this season and scored decisive goals in the FA Cup final against Manchester United. Throughout Guardiola's tenure, the German has most commonly stepped up when pressure is at its peak.
Many players could be considered to be some of the Spanish coach's greatest signings. Guardiola rarely makes misjudgements when it comes to making signings. These three mentioned have been both vital to City's system and mentality, as well as directly contributing to trophy wins. All of them will leave City as legends of the club, and their efforts will never be forgotten.