Pep Guardiola may go down as one of the best managers in history, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t made plenty of mistakes in the transfer market. You can watch the footage of his worst signings at the end of the article and remember to SHARE this article with your mates on Facebook after you watch it. Thanks for your support and hope you enjoy it.
10. Ibrahim Afellay
After impressing at PSV, Pep Guardiola decided to bring in Ibrahim Afellay during the January window in 2011. Afellay was highly rated at the time in Europe, with videos of him scoring tremendous goals in the training ground going viral. Although he was signed during midseason, the Dutchman immediately became an important squad player, making up to 28 appearances in the 2010/11 season. He was most famous for assisting Lionel Messi’s first goal against Real Madrid in the semi final of the Champions League, which Barcelona went on to win 3-1 in aggregate.
However, the following season would be a nightmare for Afellay as the arrival of Alexis Sanchez, combined with multiple injuries limited him to just five appearances for the club. He was sent on to two different loan spells afterwards, and Barcelona released him in 2015 after running out of patient with his injuries. Afellay joined Stoke City after leaving Spain, where he initially became a star player of the club before injury issues started haunting him again.
9. Jose Manuel Pinto
Jose Manuel Pinto first signed on loan for FC Barcelona in January of 2008, arriving as cover for the injured Albert Jorquera after the latter damaged knee ligaments during the festive break. Pinto was a solid goalkeeper during his 10-year stint with Celta Vigo, so when Guardiola took charge of the club in the summer, he decided to make the deal permanent.
Pinto was expected to provide competition for the first-choice keeper Victor Valdes. However, he was very error prone whenever he got a chance to play, and was a target of opposition fans for his silly plays. Pinto retired from football back in 2014, and now is a rapper and a producer with a name ‘Pinto Wahin’.
8. Martin Caceres
Martin Caceres may be a very talented defender, and he has been plagued with multiple injuries throughout his career. He became one of Guardiola’s first signings at Barcelona back in 2008, when he was signed for €16.5 million from Villarreal. However, he rarely played for the club in his only season there as he suffered from multiple injuries. And when he was available, he was behind Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Rafael Marquez, and Gabriel Milito in the pecking order.
After making only 23 appearances, he left for Juventus and Sevilla for loan spells. In 2011, Sevilla made the move permanent for just €3 million.
Manuel Agudo Duran, otherwise known as Nolito, showed flashes of brilliance with Celta Vigo few seasons ago, which gained the attention of Guardiola. Having been knowing each other since 2008, Guardiola made Nolito one of his earliest signings at Manchester City, paying £13.8 million for the winger’s services.
Despite making a decent start to life in England, Nolito constantly struggled with the weather and took a massive dip in form by midseason. He ended up making just 19 league appearances and left for Sevilla after just one season.
6. John Stones
John Stones was one of Pep Guardiola’s first signings back in the summer of 2016. Having been also linked with a move to Chelsea, Stones costed City a £50 million transfer fee from Everton, making him then-most expensive defender in the world alongside David Luiz. However, he was subject to criticism across the world media after poor displays in his debut season at the Etihad.
The 23-year-old, though, is starting to improve this season and has formed a solid defensive partnership with Nicolas Otamendi. But at the moment, he is yet to justify his huge price-tag.
5. Claudio Bravo
After winning two Copa Americas with Chile, as well as two La Liga titles and a Champions League title with Barcelona, Claudio Bravo managed to cement himself in the list of world class goalkeepers. With his stacked resume, it was no wonder City had to shell out £17 million to acquire his services back in 2016. However, since coming over to England, the Chilean’s had a difficult time and finished off his debut season with the worst save success rate among all goalkeepers.
4. Medhi Benatia
Medhi Benatia was simply brilliant during his time at Roma, and had a host of Premier League giants trying to win his signature. The Moroccan, however, chose to go to Bayern Munich and work with Guardiola. The deal was for €26 million and he was expected to become a rock at the back for the Bundesliga giants.
Things did not go exactly as planned for both parties, as he made just 29 league appearances in two seasons at Bayern. In his debut season, he was unable to get game time ahead of Dante and Jerome Boateng and in his second season, it was Javi Martinez and Boateng that was a starting defensive partnership. He left Juventus for loan last season and joined them permanently over the summer.
3. Dmytro Chygrynskiy
After brilliant performances with Shakhtar Donetsk, Bareclona and Guardiola decided to dish out €25 million to bring in Dmytro Chygrynskiy to Camp Nou in 2009. Chygrynskiy was the first Ukrainian player to ever play for Barcelona and was expected to display his ability with the ball at his feet and aerial presence.
However, things turned horribly wrong for the player in Spain, just making 14 appearances in all competitions. Despite Chygrynskiy’s poor performances, Guardiola was keen to give him a second chance. The Ukrainian, though, decided to return to Shakhtar as soon as the season ended.
2. Alexander Hleb
Alexander Hleb formed a brilliant midfield trio with Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri during his time at Arsenal, which attracted the eyes of Pep Guardiola and Barcelona. He was signed for €15m in the summer of 2008, becoming one of the earliest signings of Guardiola’s charge at the club.
However, the relationship between the two turned sour because of Hleb’s attitude, which explains the very little playing time he got in Spain. He only made 19 league appearances in his lone season at the club, and was sent out to a series of loan spells before having his contract cancelled in 2012. Since then, the Belarusian played for several eastern European clubs, and is currently a free agent after leaving Krylia Sovetov Samara in the summer following their relegation from the Russian Premier League.
1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Barcelona may have won a treble in the 2008/09 season, but Guardiola wasn’t content with the forward line and wanted a striker who has a strong aerial presence. In the summer of 2009, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was signed for £59 million plus Samuel Eto’o.
After a good start to life in Spain, things started falling apart between Ibrahimovic and Guardiola. Especially since Lionel Messi started to play in the middle, the big Swede was pushed toward the wing and goals started drying up for him. He ended up leaving the club after just one season, signing for AC Milan on a season-long loan before making the deal permanent for €24 million.
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Posted by Premier Football on Sunday, December 17, 2017