Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has discussed the impact of losing both Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez during the summer transfer window.
Gundogan and Mahrez both opted to leave the Etihad Stadium during the summer, completing moves to Barcelona and Al-Ahli after winning the treble with Manchester City.
The duo both played crucial role’s in the Blues’ treble triumph, with Mahrez scoring a hat-trick in the Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final and Gundogan netting twice in the Final against Manchester United.
The pair scored a combined 26 goals for the Sky Blues last season, as Gundogan rejected the chance to sign a new contract at the club, and Mahrez chose to leave despite penning a fresh long-term deal in July 2022.
Manchester City received a £30 million fee for Mahrez, however Gundogan joined La Liga heavyweights Barcelona on a free transfer.
Guardiola made four additions to his squad during the summer following the departure of the duo; as Mateo Kovacic, Josko Gvardiol, Jeremy Doku and Matheus Nunes all moved to the Etihad Stadium.
City have struggled in recent weeks however, winless in the Premier League since early November and falling seven points behind league leaders Liverpool in the title race.
Ahead of a trip to Luton Town, where Manchester City will look for their first Premier League win in four matches, Guardiola has revealed the impact of the exits of both Gundogan and Mahrez.
“Sometimes it’s not easy, with the problems that we’ve had, with the important players injured, with the new players coming.
“I wanted (Ilkay) Gundo to stay here, I wanted Riyad (Mahrez) to stay here, but they wanted to leave! For a new challenge in life, for family issues or whatever, thank you so much guys, because never it could have happened without you, never, impossible, impossible.
“But, people cannot imagine us being in a bad position like Jurgen said? Of course we can be there! Of course we can lose games and competitions and Premier Leagues.
“But please, don’t do it about consistency, or because of the complacency, or because they are relaxed, or they are presumptuous – the team is not there! The team is not in that way, we’re so honest and doing it every game.”
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