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“So uncertain” – Pep Guardiola reveals initial doubts regarding €90 million summer transfer



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed initial doubts regarding summer signing Josko Gvardiol.

The 22-year-old has quickly become a standout member of Pep Guardiola’s first-team squad, having moved to Manchester City in a £77.6 million transfer from RB Leipzig in August 2023 on a five-year deal.

Gvardiol, who also enjoyed success at Dinamo Zagreb prior to moving to the Bundesliga, has made 38 appearances to date during his debut season at the Etihad Stadium, scoring three goals and already winning both the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

The Croatian is bidding to lift both the Premier League and Emirates FA Cup later this month, with Manchester City needing three wins from three matches to secure a record-breaking fourth successive Premier League title.

Gvardiol, who netted during Manchester City’s 3-3 draw with Real Madrid in the first-leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals last month, has been directly involved in five goals for the Sky Blues so far this season.

The defender has primarily occupied the left-back position for Manchester City, despite predominantly featuring as a centre-back for RB Leipzig and Croatia.

Gvardiol won a penalty during Saturday’s 5-1 thrashing of Wolves at the Etihad Stadium, with the 22-year-old starting alongside international teammate Mateo Kovacic, who also moved to Manchester City last summer.

Discussing the defender’s impressive recent performances, manager Guardiola has revealed initial uncertainty regarding Gvardiol’s credentials.

“I would say it’s been more than weeks (that he has been excellent). I would say it’s months already. There was a period that was so uncertain, it was not really, really good.

“I said before, but it’s normal in the first season, Premier League, the demanding, challenges, skills, and strengths. But we talked, we saw many of his performances, and he got it.

“He can play central defender, can play left, he’s just 22-years-old, he’s an unbelievably lovely guy, he’s beloved like you cannot imagine for his humility and we are really, really pleased.”

Guardiola has a series of defensive options alongside Gvardiol, with Manuel Akanji, John Stones, Nathan Ake, Ruben Dias and Kyle Walker all additionally playing vital roles throughout the season.