Txiki Begiristain have perfected the transfer schedule for Pep Guardiola to land the next Man City superstar – Alex Brotherton

As the end of the year approaches, the January transfer window comes too.

Manchester City have been quite frugal when it comes to spending halfway through the season – Aymeric Laporte and Gabriel Jesus are the only players to have arrived outside the summer window since Pep Guardiola became coach.

But with a busy summer on the horizon for City, it won’t stop the transfer talk from screwing up a few levels.

It made us think – who are the best signings made in the Guardiola era? Believe us, it was not easy to cut this list down to five!

Ruben Dias

Few players in Premier League history, no matter just City, have had such a transformative impact on a club’s fortune on arrival as Ruben Dias.

City were a defensive mess in 2019/20 and it was carried over to the following season as the 2-5 home defeat to Leicester showed.

Two days after that shock result, City bought Dias from Benfica for £ 61 million and he has been worth every penny.

The Portuguese midfielder immediately saw at home, who was part of a Premier League defense, and it was the partnership he entered into with John Stones, a defender who had previously fought at City, that formed the basis of their title attack.



LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 3: Ruben Dias from Manchester City recognizes fans after the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield on October 3, 2021 in Liverpool, England.
Ruben Dias is a fan favorite at Man City

This year, Dias has been just as impressive playing alongside Laporte, while his leadership qualities are second to none.

Ederson

Ederson can claim to be Guardiola’s best signing because City simply would not be able to play in Pep’s style without him.

After the Claudio Bravo experiment spectacularly backfired, City parted ways with £ 36m to sign Ederson from Benfica.

The possession-based style that Guardiola has implemented in City requires a goalkeeper who can help launch attacks from behind and also act as a sweeper to ward off dangers. No one does it better than Ederson.

At Barcelona Guardiola had Victor Valdes and at Bayern Munich he had Manuel Neuer, but Ederson is without a doubt better with his feet than both.



Ederson found Phil Foden with a pass behind James Milner from his own penalty area
Ederson’s distribution, as his pass to Phil Foden against Liverpool showed, is incredible

The kind of ‘modern’ goalkeeping game that Ederson represents was never seen in the Premier League before, but now everyone is trying to play from behind.

Kyle Walker

Kyle Walker is without a doubt the most underrated signing of the Guardiola era. Walker was signed from Tottenham in 2017 as part of Pep’s big squad overhaul, and Walker has long been a defender who relies solely on his pace to get out of sticky situations.

The truth could not be further from it.

Although his acceleration proves to be practical when opponents seek out City, only a few full-backs in the football world are able to perform (to a high level) Guardiola’s tactical and positional tweaks.



Kyle Walker and Ruben Dias have both been bargains

At City, Walker has played as a traditional right-back, wing-back and as a center-back in a back-three. What has been most impressive, however, is the ease with which he plays the reverse full-back role, pushing into midfield when City are in possession, to open up more passing opportunities and create space.

A pacemaker would not be able to do that, would he?

Rodri

In the first 18 months of his City career, it looked like Rodri would join the pile of rubbish from the former City midfield flop, such were his struggles to adapt to the intensity of the Premier League and Guardiola’s system.



Rodri has been excellent for Manchester City so far this season.
Rodri has been excellent for Manchester City so far this season.

This season, everything seems to have clicked, and the 25-year-old Spanish national team player is considered the best holding midfielder in the world.

As an unconventional number six, he is crucial to the way City play as he attracts pressure from opponents to allow the reverse backs, and players like Bernardo Silva who fall back, time and space to lead the ball forward.

His defensive abilities, as well as passes and visions, have come by leaps and bounds this season.

They said it would be impossible to find a replacement for Fernandinho, but Txiki Begiristain has done so.

Bernardo silva

How do you even begin to sum up how good Bernardo Silva is ??



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Bought from Benfica for £ 45m. in 2017, Bernardo experienced a quiet start to life in the City before emerging as an offensive and defensive powerhouse in 2018/19. He dropped a bit from the following two seasons, but this campaign he has without a doubt been the best player in the league.

He is an amazing dribbler, he can receive the ball under pressure, he has excellent eyesight, his work speed is relentless and he falls deep to advance the ball.

Oh, and he named his dog John after teammate John Stones. Get the lifetime contract drawn up, Txiki!

Who do you think is the best signing made during Guardiola’s reign in the City? Follow ours Town Is our author Alex Brotherton on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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