Man City squad decision shows why Pep Guardiola was so keen on two summer transfer moves
Kyle Walker became one of two summer transfer window clear-out survivors last week as Manchester City announced the right-back had signed a new contract.
The 33-year-old became the second of the newest captaincy group at the Etihad to commit his future, after midfielder Bernardo Silva also signed an extension in August. City fended off interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona for the Portugal international, while Walker was linked with a move to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
Blues boss Pep Guardiola will be relieved to have kept his hands on both having lost a number of key squad members in the summer. He can now count on two of his trusted men in a City dressing room that seems to be thinner than those of years gone by.
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Two of Guardiola’s four summer signings, Jeremy Doku and Josko Gvardiol, are just 21 years old, making it all the more important to keep hold of the experienced Bernardo and Walker to uphold the high standards in a youthful squad.
City and Guardiola lost experienced trio Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gundogan this summer. Although City recruited well in terms of on-the-pitch qualities to replace Gundogan with Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes, it remains to be seen how the Champions will cope without last season’s club captain.
The departure of Gundogan paved the way for Bernardo to be included in Guardiola’s captaincy group, which also includes strong, opinionated players like Kevin De Bruyne, Ruben Dias and Rodri. Ahead of City’s opening Champions League group game, Walker was on media duties and spoke of Bernardo's importance and