Pep Guardiola suggested those that don’t think one of his key Manchester City players is the best in the league should re-watch his performances against Liverpool and Chelsea this season.
Despite his seventh-placed finish in the 2021 Ballon d’Or, many point to Mohamed Salah when naming the best player in the world right now. However, City boss Guardiola has an alternative view on that notion.
Instead, the Spaniard believes Portuguese playmaker Bernardo Silva is currently the best player on these shores, not Salah.
Despite being heavily linked with a move away over the summer, the 27-year-old has slotted straight back into Guardiola’s plans. While his goals tally of five is a far cry from that of Salah’s, his all-around displays have been integral to City’s stellar start to the campaign.
Speaking in his Friday press conference (via the Manchester Evening News): Guardiola was asked if Bernardo is the best in the league.
Guardiola quipped: “Take a video in Anfield, in Stamford Bridge, in the last game. You will know it.”
Guardiola spoke in rather more lengthy terms about fellow midfielder, Rodri.
The 25-year-old was signed in 2019 as Fernadinho’s heir apparent in the hub of midfield. Despite the veteran Brazilian remaining on the books, Rodri’s 12 league starts this term suggest he has already assumed the mantle.
Rodri cannot be a “3 or 4” out of 10
When asked what has changed in the Spaniard’s game this season and if he’s now fully accustomed to Guardiola’s demands, Pep said: “When you ask me the best full-backs in my career, Dani Alves, Philipp Lahm, Kyle Walker. Fernandinho is Fernandinho, Rodri is Rodri.
“Fernandinho is still with us and has done for this club on the pitch, the people don’t know off the pitch which is amazing.
“Rodri is 23, 24. Everything is a process. Last season he played good, maybe last part of the season drop a little bit but we gave him more minutes last season you have to be careful this season. The fact we are out of the Carabao Cup is good for that.
“He is playing an extraordinary level, the consistency. Not one game, he has to be here, 7, 8, 7, 8 all the time. Cannot be 3 or 4 because it destroys the team, cannot be 10 because 10 is for the strikers.
“He is playing this consistency, defensively, offensively.
Next Guardiola club named; Man City exit date revealed
Meanwhile, a date has been set on when Pep Guardiola will leave Manchester City, and the lucky club that will scoop up his services has been named, per a report.
Since arriving at City in 2016, Guardiola has helped his side lift 10 major honours. However, according to 90min, his time in Manchester will come to an end in 2023 when his current contract expires.
The outlet first carry quotes from the Spaniard that reiterated his desire to only manage City while in England.
“I think I will always be at Man City,” said Pep. “If I had to come back, I would come back to Man City, if they want me. I don’t think I am going to train another club in England. I’m a part of this club.”
But when that stint concludes, plans are reportedly already in the works that will see Guardiola move to America to manage New York City FC. The MLS side form part of the overarching City Football Group.
Guardiola has made no secret of his love for the city of New York. He previously spent a year there when on sabbatical between the Barcelona and Bayern Munich jobs.
Adding further fuel to the fire are recent comments from Guardiola when speaking during an initiative to lay more football pitches in New York.