In the long road to Manchester City’s success in the 2017/18 season, there is no doubt that Pep Guardiola has had to take some high-risk decisions, in turn reaping big rewards.
From the get-go, Guardiola identified ex-City number one, Joe Hart, as a clear weakness due to his poor distribution and technical ability on the ball when playing out from the back. The decision was then made to loan out Hart to Torino and bring in Barcelona ‘keeper Claudio Bravo, counting on the Chilean from his former side due to his confidence and expertise on the ball.
Despite Bravo’s first-season not going to plan, Guardiola took another risk in bringing in Ederson, for a world-record fee of £34m which has paid off hugely with the Brazilian helping to make vital saves alongside aiding the build-up play to ensure a domestic double.
Guardiola is known to take a gamble, and the chance to get no deposit free spins may also intrigue him and could be another opportunity he takes up.
Guardiola’s arrival also meant that another one of City’s spine from the Pellegrini era, Yaya Toure, had his future in doubt. After a stand-off with his agent Dimitri Seluk following his comments on Guardiola, Toure was frozen out of the team.
When the Ivorian chose to apologise on his agent’s behalf, the Catalan boss allowed him to return to the side bagging a brace against Crystal Palace in a 2-1 win and helping to solidify a shaky City side for the remainder of the season. This was courtesy of Toure already being aware of Guardiola’s philosophy from working under his tutelage at Barcelona.
On Wednesday, Toure will step onto the Etihad turf for the last time against Brighton in which Guardiola will have to decide whether to start or bench the 34-year-old in his farewell game with City still chasing numerous records.