Man City transfer windows under Pep Guardiola rated
Manchester City have developed into one of world football’s superpowers in the last three years, partly due to their spending in the transfer market.
Judging Pep Guardiola’s effectiveness in signing players is fraught with problems, as – while he has huge influence – the final say lies with the executive team, who had already started planning for his succession.
But what rating does each of City’s transfer windows since 2016 warrant?
Guardiola’s first window got off to an odd start as the Blues paid out for an injured player – but £20m for Ilkay Gundogan has proved a bargain.
The big buys of Leroy Sane and John Stones have also worked out, with both contributing well and increasing their values in the market.
The snip of Zinchenko was great business, but there have to be questions about the money spent on Bravo, Nolito and Moreno.
In: Ilkay Gundogan £20m, Nolito £13.8m, Aleks Zinchenko £1.7m, Leroy Sane £37m, Marlos Moreno £4.75m, John Stones £47.5m, Claudio Bravo £17.1m
Out: Seko Fofana £3.8m, Aaron Mooy free
Rating: The big-money moves have been a success but the lesser purchases were not so great – 6.
The deal for Gabriel Jesus was actually done in the summer, but he only joined the club in January.
His goalscoring record of 48 goals in 105 games justifies the money, but he has also pushed Sergio Aguero to greater heights.
In: Gabriel Jesus £27m
Rating: Brilliant deal for Jesus, who is worth at least three times what City paid for him – 8.
City smashed the world record for a spend in a single window, and their critics had a field day, pointing out they had spent over £120million on full backs alone.
And while the spend was big, again every purchase has increased in value, and Ederson, Bernardo and Walker have been key players in successive title wins.
Mendy’s injury record has restricted his efficacy, while Danilo was a useful stand-in.
The £8million picked up for Jadon Sancho looks sickly now, but there was little choice at the time, and City’s penchant for developing and selling players off-set some of the huge outlay.
In: Ederson £35m, Bernardo Silva £43m, Douglas Luiz £10.7m, Kyle Walker £45m, Danilo £26.5m, Benjamin Mendy £52m
Out: Aaron Mooy £8m, Nolito £7.9m, Olivier Ntcham £4.5m, Aleks Kolarov £4.5m, Kelechi Iheanacho £25m, Fernando £4.3m, Samir Nasri £3.2m, Enes Unal £12.5m, Jadon Sancho £8m, Wilfried Bony £12m, Pablo Zabaleta free, Gael Clichy free, Jesus Navas free
Rating: Losing Sancho is retrospectively bad, but so many key players in the title triumphs were added – 8.
Having missed Jorginho in the summer, City pursued Fred as well as Riyad Mahrez, but walked away from both deals.
Instead they shored up their back four with a club record deal for Laporte – which has proved to be a master stroke.
In: Aymeric Laporte £57m
Rating: A club record for a central defender, but he is a rock on which the future is being built – 9.
The pursuit of Jorginho fell flat, leaving City short of a defensive midfielder, which had been their transfer priority.
The only major purchase, for a club record fee, was Mahrez, and for almost a whole season he looked like an unnecessary expenditure.
Now City fans are seeing why Guardiola was so keen.
The Blues also continued their successful policy of raising cash through sales of non-first team players.
In: Riyad Mahrez £60m, Philippe Sandler £2.5m
Out: Joe Hart £3.5m, Angus Gunn £13.5m, Pablo Maffeo £8m, Bersant Celina £3m, Jason Denayer £5m, Angelino £5m
Rating: Mahrez seemed like a luxury, and the lack of a defensive midfielder made it seem even worse – 6
City stayed out of the market, but cashed in on two young players who could have left for nothing in a few months’ time.
Both could come back to haunt the Blues, but there was little option.
Out: Brahim Diaz £22m, Rabbi Matondo £9.6m
Rating: Only time will tell whether City should have worked harder to keep Brahim and Matondo – 5.
City finally got the defensive midfielder they finally needed, but failed to sign Harry Maguire as a replacement for Vincent Kompany.
The arrival of Joao Cancelo gave a more youthful option at right back
In: Rodri £62.6m, Zack Steffen £7m, Angelino £5.5m, Joao Cancelo £34m plus Danilo, Morgan Rogers £4m
Out: Vincent Kompany free, Douglas Luiz £12.5m, Taylor Richards £2.5m, Fabian Delph £10m, Danilo player plus cash deal, Manu Garcia £3.6m
Rating: City solved one of their two major problems, but the failure to replace Kompany has come back to bedevil them – 5.