Pep Guardiola, widely regarded as one of the greatest football managers of all time, has had an illustrious career with numerous successes. However, like any manager, he has also made some questionable signings throughout his tenure. In this article, we will take a look at the 10 worst signings of Guardiola’s career.
1. Alexander Hleb: Hleb, a technically gifted midfielder, was a successful player at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger. However, his move to Barcelona in 2008 did not go as planned. Despite winning the treble in his debut season, Hleb struggled to make an impact and was often criticized during his time at the Camp Nou.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic: While Ibrahimovic had a respectable goal-scoring record during his one season at Barcelona, the swap deal that brought him to the club did not age well. Barcelona sent Samuel Eto’o to Inter Milan as part of the deal, and Eto’o went on to win a second successive treble, while Ibrahimovic struggled to fit in at Barcelona.
3. Dmytro Chygrynskyi: Chygrynskyi was brought in to bolster Guardiola’s treble-winning Barcelona squad in 2009. However, he lasted just one season before returning to Shakhtar Donetsk. His time at Barcelona was marked by limited playing time and a lack of impact.
4. Keirrison: This €14 million signing never made a single appearance for Barcelona, leaving fans and pundits scratching their heads as to why the club made the investment in the first place.
5. Henrique: Another Brazilian signing that failed to make his mark at Barcelona, Henrique’s time at the club was forgettable, and he quickly faded into obscurity.
6. Mario Gotze: Although Gotze wasn’t strictly a Guardiola signing, his arrival at Bayern Munich coincided with Guardiola’s tenure at the club. While he had some success, injuries and a failure to reach his full potential prevented him from becoming one of the world’s best players.
7. Claudio Bravo: Guardiola’s decision to replace Joe Hart with Bravo was met with skepticism. While Bravo had success playing in a possession-based game at Barcelona, he struggled to perform at the same level in Manchester and made several high-profile errors.
8. Nolito: Nolito’s time at Manchester City was marked by inconsistent performances and a lack of trophies. He lasted just one season before being sold back to Spain.
9. Benjamin Mendy: Mendy arrived at Manchester City for a record fee for a defender but was plagued by injuries and off-field issues. Allegations of rape and sexual assault resulted in his suspension from the club, and he failed to justify his hefty price tag.
10. Kalvin Phillips: Phillips, a highly rated midfielder, joined Manchester City for a significant fee but struggled to earn significant playing time under Guardiola. Despite his success with Leeds United and England, Guardiola never seemed convinced of his abilities.
While Guardiola’s career has been filled with successes, these signings serve as a reminder that even the best managers can make mistakes in the transfer market.
This article was updated 1 month ago