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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola explains Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko exits

Srinivas Sadhanand

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola explains Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Oleksandr Zinchenko exits

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Pep Guardiola has outlined why Manchester City's squad refresh was vital ahead of the new season.

In the build up to City’s first-ever Champions League final against Chelsea in 2020, Pep Guardiola famously emphasised the importance of a squad refresh.

The Spaniard discussed at length how new signings can bring a sense of hunger and drive that ultimately pushes the squad as a whole to go for glory.

Additionally, certain players that have been a part of the side for years on end can be allowed to leave in order to ensure that the team as a whole remain on their toes.

Raheem Sterling with Chelsea co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali. (Chelsea FC)
Raheem Sterling with Chelsea co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali. (Chelsea FC)

After securing a fourth Premier League title in five seasons, Manchester City have overseen a series of eye-catching changes this summer.

With Fernandinho’s illustrious nine-year stay at the Etihad Stadium coming to an end, Kalvin Phillips was signed as a long-term replacement for the Brazilian.

Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling left for Arsenal and Chelsea respectively as they entered the final 12 months of their respective Manchester City contracts.

Gabriel Jesus
Gabriel Jesus

The Premier League champions always had a plan in place, recruiting young pair Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez to bolster their attacking line.

Another name that has bid farewell to the Etihad Stadium is four-time Premier League champion Oleksandr Zinchenko.

The Ukrainian starred on City's title winning triumph against Aston Villa on the final day of last season, coming off the bench to set up Rodri's equaliser before Ilkay Gundogan scored the winner late on.

Zinchenko
Zinchenko

While City are yet to replace Zinchenko ahead of their league tie against Bournemouth this weekend, the Blues are expected to bring in a new left back before the transfer window shuts.

Prior to the opening day victory away at West Ham, Pep Guardiola emphasised on the need to bring about a squad refresh six years into when he first stepped in at City.

“Always I thought that after five or six years together, we need to change the manager or change a few players,” Guardiola said, as quoted by Simon Mullock of the Mirror.

Pep Guardiola looks on in Manchester City's 0-2 win against West Ham.
Pep Guardiola looks on in Manchester City's 0-2 win against West Ham.

“It’s good to change, refresh everyone, old players, new players, bring a new energy and new desires. You have to take decisions. That’s why we are paid."

City have brought in Stefan Ortega as Zack Steffen joined Middlesbrough on a season-long loan for regular first-team minutes ahead of the World Cup in November.

After suffering a 3-1 defeat in the Community Shield to title rivals Liverpool, City made a strong start to their title defence as Erling Haaland scored twice on his Premier League debut to lead his new club to a comfortable 2-0 win.

Kevin De Bruyne celebrates with Erling Haaland for Manchester City.
Kevin De Bruyne celebrates with Erling Haaland for Manchester City.

Guardiola added: "The intention is to always get better. The only thing I’m here for is to make the team play better and the players individually to play better.

"I want to watch the team on the touchline and say, ‘I like it.’ We’re going to lose the Premier League at some point because nothing is eternal, not even this team.

"Everyone knows, to win four titles in five years is extraordinary- but we can improve it. When I feel the players here can’t make the next step then."

Srinivas Sadhanand
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