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Inside the private conversation between Pep Guardiola and Txiki Begiristain that led to Oscar Bobb’s Manchester City rise



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has offered a behind-the-scenes insight into the conversations that led to Oscar Bobb’s rise in the first-team set-up.

The Norway international further staked his claim for a place in Pep Guardiola’s starting line-ups during the second-half of the season, scoring the winning goal in a dramatic 2-3 comeback victory against Newcastle on Saturday evening.

Replacing Jeremy Doku as a second-half substitute in the north-east, Bobb combined with the returning playmaker Kevin De Bruyne to round Magpies goalkeeper Martin Dubravka and slot home into an empty net to claim a crucial three points on the road.

Bobb’s latest goal contribution makes it three for the season, and further backs up a decision made by Pep Guardiola and Txiki Begiristain during the 2023/24 pre-season preparations in Japan, as the Manchester City boss offered an insight into the two-way process.

Speaking to the media after the win at St James’ Park, Pep Guardiola revealed that Manchester City sporting director Txiki Begiristain insisted that the 20-year-old forward was the stand-out talent in the club’s Elite Development Squad the season prior.

“So, Txiki (Begiristain) at the end of the season said to me that Oscar Bobb in the second team, under-23s was the best player by far,” Guardiola revealed to reporters.

“And I said, ‘OK, come to Japan (on pre-season), start to train with us’, and immediately Oscar got something that is the most important thing; the reliance of his mates.”

The City boss further revealed, “It’s more important than the manager; when the mates can say, ‘OK, this player can play with us’, that is the best triumph, the best success, and it was immediately.”

With Oscar Bobb firmly a part of Manchester City’s first-team squad this season, and emerging as a player for the senior Norwegian national team, it is highly likely that crucial developmental minutes will continue to come for the player this season.

City enter into a 10-day winter break, granting their star-studded squad several days off to spend with family and friends, before reconvening for a training camp in Abu Dhabi ahead of a return to action in the FA Cup later this month.

Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham have been drawn as Manchester City’s next opponents, with the reigning Champions of the competition travelling to the capital on Friday 26 January.