Pep Guardiola is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in world football. When he first agreed to be the manager of Manchester City in 2016, many warned that the Spaniard won’t be able to revolutionise English football as he had done before in Germany and Spain.
He was able to make Manchester City the most fearsome team in England before Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp assembled a squad which could give the Citizens a run for their money.
The Reds defied all odds and ousted the Sky Blues in the title race in the ongoing 2019-20 season. While players like Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero were at their usual best, Pep Guardiola’s side were pegged back by a few flops.
With that said, today, we will take a look at Manchester City’s best and worst performers from the 2019-20 season.
#5 Riyad Mahrez (Hit)
The Algerian winger lit up the Premier League with Leicester City before making the switch to Manchester City in January 2018. Riyad Mahrez was the Sky Blues’ record signing for a brief period of time before being overtaken by Rodri, but he’s proven to be an excellent addition for the Etihad outfit.
The winger has had a 25% goal contribution in 2019-20, only Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne have a better rate than Mahrez. He has scored 9 goals and has also racked up 14 assists across all competitions.
The 26-year-old has been a shrewd piece of business from the Manchester City hierarchy, highlighting their smart recruitment strategy.
#4 John Stones (Flop)
Widely regarded as one of the most promising centre-backs in the world a few years back, injuries and bad form have seen John Stones’ reputation plummet from great heights.
The Englishman has been restricted to just 20 appearances all season, due to niggling injuries. But whenever he has been fit, Stones has looked a shadow of himself. Part of Manchester City’s troubles this season has been their defence, centre-backs in particular.
In Aymeric Laporte’s absence, Stones failed to rise to the occasion, which meant Fernandinho was instead asked to fill in at the centre of defence.
The 25-year-old will be hoping for better fortunes when the Premier League resumes.
#3 Sergio Aguero (Hit)
Talk about the most consistent player in the blue half of Manchester, Sergio Aguero has been everpresent for the team since arriving from Atletico Madrid in 2011.
He helped Manchester City win the Premier League in his first season and hasn’t looked back since. This season too, the Argentine hitman has been at his usual best, contributing 23 goals in 30 matches.
Aguero continues to shatter records at will, and the 31-year-old shows no signs of slowing down despite his age.
No wonder Guardiola considers him a key component of the squad.
#2 Nicolas Otamendi (Flop)
We’re not saying that Nicolas Otamendi is a bad player, he’s after all still a big part of the Manchester City juggernaut. With that said, the Argentine is prone to lapses in concentration, which can cost the team dearly sometimes.
Otamendi was keen on a move earlier, but Aymeric Laporte’s injury saw him get ample opportunities, which wasn’t the case before.
He has played 32 matches across all competitions this season, but the former Valencia man certainly isn’t the first choice at the Etihad anymore. When Laporte and John Stones are back to their best, Otamendi will have to make do with a place on the bench again.
That’s because with him in the team, Manchester City have looked extremely vulnerable at the back.
#1 Kevin De Bruyne (Hit)
Arguably one of the best players on the planet currently, Kevin De Bruyne has found his groove again in the 2019-20 season, banishing the blues of last season. The Belgian has a 35% goal participation rate, highest among all players.
He played 35 matches before the break for Manchester City, scoring nine times, and setting up a further 19 goals for his teammates.
Apart from the stats though, the 28-year-old’s performances have been drool-worthy – his elegance, vision and passing are a notch up above everyone else.
When at his best, De Bruyne is almost unplayable, and it’s a shame that despite having a brilliant season, the midfielder will be missing out on the big prize.
All stats courtesy: Transfermarkt.co.in