The Pep Guardiola empire is starting to take shape at Manchester City as he has signed two players in the space of 24 hours. Thursday saw the signing of Australian Midfielder Aaron Mooy which in all fairness is somewhat of a left field signing but then again it does come from City’s Australian sister club in Melbourne so that will go a long way to explaining that signature. But the real news is that they have signed Nolito from Celta Vigo after meeting the £13.8m release clause that Celta Vigo were demanding.
The 29 year old who is fresh off of Spain’s Euro 2016 exit earlier in the week has signed a four year contract and is Guardiola’s third signing since taking charge at The Etihad. Nolito’s form for Celta Vigo in La Liga last season was rewarded with a place in Vicente Del Bosque’s starting eleven for all four European Championship matches. Although Nolito and co couldn’t make history and become the first ever nation to win three successive European Championships, he’ll look to turn that disappointment into the excitement that lies ahead with a move to the Premier League
Although the Spanish contingent seems to be growing at Manchester City does Nolito’s arrival mean a departure for his compatriot Jesus Navas. The 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 winner has never really matched the form that he showed when he played for Sevilla and hasn’t scored in the Premier League in the last two seasons even though he has made a total of 67 appearances, quite damming statistics I’m sure you will agree
I don’t think the signing of Nolito will mean the exit door for Raheem Sterling but it will certainly raise questions as to where he will fit in a Guardiola starting eleven. The first thing Guradiola has to do is put an arm round him and try and rejuvenate a player who is so low on confidence right now. Considering he was getting such little game under Manuel Pellegrini towards the tail end of last season his performances in France over the past fortnight or so have done little to push for a place in the side on the opening day of the season.
With three new signings for Guardiola you certainly get the feeling that they won’t be the last. You could arguably have made the case that the side that finished 4th last season could do with at least half a dozen changes, the summer spending is by no way finished here and we will all keenly be watching this space as to who else enters the Etihad.