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Manchester City announce new club captain following Ilkay Gundogan departure and squad vote



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Manchester City have revealed their new leadership group for the 2023/24 season, after Ilkay Gundogan left the club during the summer transfer window.

The German midfielder, who led Manchester City to an historic treble, left the Etihad Stadium for Barcelona on a free transfer in June, ending a seven-year stay at the club, having signed from Borussia Dortmund in 2016.

Gundogan became Manchester City captain in October last year, replacing Fernandinho following a first-team squad vote at the City Football Academy.

The 32-year-old had previously acted as vice-captain at the club, and during the 2022/23 season, established a leadership group of Kevin De Bruyne, Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias and Rodri.

De Bruyne, who has been at Manchester City since 2015, is sidelined with an injury until the new year, but has previously hinted at a desire to take the armband.

Kyle Walker captained the Sky Blues at Wembley Stadium for the FA Community Shield and in Athens for the UEFA Super Cup Final last month, and the Englishman recently signed a new two-year contract extension at the Etihad Stadium.

The 33-year-old penned a new deal until 2026 last week, amid intense transfer speculation in the summer, amid interest from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.

As well as committing his future to Manchester City, the right-back is one of five players selected to captain the squad during the campaign, as part of the new leadership team.

The right-back confirmed ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Red Star Belgrade that himself, Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva were voted as squad leaders.

“It’s come in and the five captain’s chosen,” revealed the 33-year-old.

“We’ll lead the team for the foreseeable season and make sure the fines are paid up. The order doesn’t matter, It’s down to me, Kevin [De Bruyne], Rodri, Ruben [Dias] and Bernardo Silva. I’m honoured to lead the players and I’ll lead by example.”

“We don’t do fines, if it’s arriving 10 minutes late for a team meeting, it’s paying for a meal. If there’s anyone to collect it, it’s Ruben [Dias] and Rodri.

“Bernardo’s shown on the pitch how important he is to the team. Off the pitch what you don’t see, he’s a really good relationship with the manager, if we want days off we’ll get him to ask.”