Pep Guardiola’s 24 player sales at Man City assessed

Pep Guardiola’s record in the transfer market since taking over as Manchester City coach is superb.

The Spaniard has brought in some excellent acquisitions – with the likes of Ederson and Ruben Dias proving to be huge hits at the Etihad.

Guardiola has also been tasked with replacing a number of the old guard, having to sell City legends, David Silva and Yaya Toure.

Over 40 players have left the club since Guardiola arrived in 2016 but only 24 of them ever made a Premier League appearance as a number of others were sold before ever being given a chance in the side.

But which of his 24 outgoings was good business? And which could, perhaps, be considered a mistake?

Here, we look at Guardiola’s sales considering a number of factors including age, the fee and how they fared after leaving City.


Brazilian right-back Danilo was bought from Real Madrid for £30million in the summer of 2017.

He struggled to have a meaningful impact in Manchester and was often utilised as a backup left-back during his time at the Etihad before he was eventually sold to Juventus in August 2019.

Despite his poor stint in England, City managed to somehow make a profit on the defender as Juve paid £33m for his services.

Kelechi Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho left the Etihad for Leicester City in August 2017, citing lack of playing time as the reason for his departure.

Despite showing some promising signs during his time in Manchester, City accepted Leicester’s offer of £25m, a fee that seems extremely steep considering he has scored just 39 goals in four years at the King Power.

Nicolas Otamendi

Otamendi’s time at City was a rollercoaster one. The Argentine was a crucial part of two Premier League title wins but frequently found himself criticised for being too rash, often committing to tackles too early and giving away silly fouls.

Therefore, it was surprising that City were able to recoup £13.5m from Benfica last summer, a good fee considering he was already 32-years-old.

Stefan Jovetic

City fans were excited upon the arrival of Jovetic from Fiorentina in 2013 due to the striker’s sky-high potential.

However, the skilful frontman never lived up to the hype and struggled for consistent minutes in the line-up.

Despite Jovetic’s struggles City did receive £12m from Inter Milan for the Montenegro international despite having less than 18 months left on his deal at the time.

Fabian Delph

Guardiola successfully turned midfielder Fabian Delph into an inverted left-back during City’s record-breaking 100-point season in 2017/18.

But Delph began to struggle with injury woes and saw himself behind both Benjamin Mendy and Oleksandr Zinchenko in the pecking order before he was eventually sold to Everton in July 2019.

The Toffees paid a decent fee to secure Delph’s services with City accepting an £8.5m bid despite Delph’s contract being in its final year.

Alexandar Kolarov

Kolarov was an excellent attacking left-back during Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini’s tenures as City boss.

Things changed upon Guardiola’s arrival as the Serbian found himself being utilised as a left-sided centre-back in the Spanish coach’s debut season in England.

Kolarov looked off the pace and was eventually sold to Roma with City receiving £4.5m for the ageing defender.

Wilfried Bony

Bony was brought into the Manchester club after an impressive stint with Swansea City where he scored goals for fun.

However, the Ivorian couldn’t find his goalscoring boots at the Etihad, netting just 10 times in 48 appearances for City before he moved back to the Swans just two years later for £12m.

Claudio Bravo

Barcelona goalkeeper Bravo may be one of Guardiola’s worst singings as City coach.

The Chilean ‘keeper had a woeful time in England, often costing City games due to his poor decision making and lacklustre shot-stopping.

He was eventually shown the door last summer, leaving for Real Betis on a free transfer.

Martin Demichelis

Veteran centre-half Demichelis was one of the first players to be let go by Pep Guardiola with the Spaniard ruling against extending Demichelis’ contract which was expiring in the summer of 2017.

It was a smart decision by Guardiola as the Argentine was declining and past his best.

Gael Clichy

Clichy was another member of the old guard that Guardiola allowed to leave after one season as City boss.

The Frenchman had enjoyed a solid career with the Blues but his ability was dwindling and he was becoming a liability in the squad, eventually leaving for Turkey in 2017.

Bacary Sagna

Sagna proved to be a solid acquisition from Arsenal in 2014, joining City on a free transfer, signing a three-year deal.

The former Gunner was then let go when his deal expired in 2017 as Guardiola looked to overhaul the fullbacks in his squad, the right decision given Sagna was 34-years-old.

Jesus Navas

Jesus Navas was highly rated in Spain, helping his national side win the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championships before joining City in 2013.

However, the winger struggled to replicate the form he had shown in his homeland, scoring just eight goals in 183 games for City. Navas eventually moved back to former club Sevilla on a free transfer.

Pablo Zabaleta

Yet another fullback who departed the Etihad in 2017 was City legend Pablo Zabaleta who joined West Ham United on a free transfer.

The Argentine was an excellent servant of the club, featuring 333 times, winning two league titles, two league cups and an FA Cup in the process.

Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure enjoyed an incredible career in Manchester, scoring 79 goals in 316 games, a hugely impressive feat for a box-to-box midfielder.

However, the Ivorian seemed to have problems with Guardiola’s management style and the two reportedly fell out, limiting Toure’s game time under the Spaniard.

Toure eventually was released from City in July 2018 after winning three Premier League titles, two League Cups and an FA Cup, in which he scored the winner to end City’s 35-year wait for a trophy.

Joe Hart

Despite a hugely successful spell as City no.1, in which he won four golden glove awards, Joe Hart was made surplus to requirements by Guardiola due to his unreliable distribution.

Guardiola sent Hart on a number of loan spells and his value plummeted from over £15m to £9m, according to Transfermarkt.

Hart was then sold to Burnley in 2019 for just £3m, a very low fee for an experienced England international.

Willy Caballero

Caballero was another goalkeeper that Guardiola offloaded, letting the Argentine join Chelsea for free in 2017.

The experienced shot-stopper proved to be a great addition for City’s Premier League rivals and even was part of the Chelsea squad that defeated City in last month’s Champions League final in Porto.


Spanish winger Nolito was one of Guardiola’s first signings for City and the former Celta Vigo man got off to a solid start at the Etihad, notching six goals and four assists in his only season in England.

Nolito’s family were reportedly unhappy in Manchester and he eventually departed for £6m, less than half what City paid 12 months earlier.

Samir Nasri

Samir Nasri joins Sagna and Clichy as the third Frenchman on this list to leave Arsenal for City in the hunt to win trophies.

The skilful playmaker joined Turkish side Antalyaspor for just £3m in August 2017, a low fee considering Transfermarkt estimated his market value as around £14m at the time.

Eliaquim Mangala

Porto centre-back Mangala arrived in Manchester with huge expectations in 2014 as City looked for the perfect Vincent Kompany partner in the heart of their defence.

The Frenchman was bought for £42m, making him the most expensive defender in British footballing history at the time.

Mangala couldn’t live up to his price tag, failing to impress both Pellegrini and Guardiola before leaving on a free in 2019 with City criticised for failing to attain any money for the transfer.

David Silva

Spanish magician David Silva had an incredible career at the Etihad, playing an instrumental role in four Premier League titles and when he left last summer it was the perfect time to leave on a high.

However, some City fans can’t help but feel he deserved one final contract considering his experience and consistency.

This season he has shown that age is just a number this season, averaging two key passes per game in La Liga for Real Sociedad.

Brahim Diaz

Many of the City faithful were gutted to see Brahim Diaz depart for Spanish giants Real Madrid for just £15m in 2019, a low fee for a player with sky-high potential.

The Spanish starlet was highly rated in Manchester with some touting him as the perfect long-term replacement for David Silva.

Diaz spent last season on loan with Milan and showed City why it was a mistake letting him go, notching seven goals and four assists, impressive numbers for a midfielder who is just 21-years-old.

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Vincent Kompany

City legend Vincent Kompany enjoyed a fairytale ending in Manchester as he scored a world-class goal to win his side the game, and the title, against Leicester in the dying embers of their 2019 matchup.

The Belgian then left City just one month later after his contract expired, joining former club Anderlecht on a player-manager basis.

However, City sorely missed their former captain’s defensive qualities at the back and leadership qualities in the dressing room.

In the season after Kompany left City conceded 35 league goals, 12 more than they had managed in his final campaign, proving they should have offered him a contract extension in 2019.


Spanish left-back Angelino made his loan move to RB Leipzig a permanent one in February after struggling for minutes at the Etihad.

The 24-year-old left for just £16m, despite a Transfermarkt valuation of over £30m, which is fairly accurate considering his talent.

Angelino enjoyed a stellar 2020/21 campaign in Germany, contributing with eight goals and 11 assists in all competitions despite playing as a wing-back, statistics that will frustrate Guardiola considering City’s problems at left-back this season.

1. Leroy Sane

Leroy Sane enjoyed a hugely successful stint in England, joining City from German outfit Schalke in the summer of 2016.

The German winger provided the perfect blend of pace, intelligent decision making and powerful finishing to become an immediate favourite at the Etihad.

Sane played a crucial part in City’s centurion season and registered an impressive 39 goals and 45 assists across 135 games.

It then came as a major surprise that Guardiola was willing to sell the youngster in August 2019 before an ACL tear kept him out for the majority of the season.

Once Sane returned from his injury he rejected a contract extension to keep him in Manchester and eventually departed to Bayern Munich for just £40m, less than what City paid for him four years prior despite his excellent exploits during that period.

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