Former Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha has predicted who will replace Pep Guardiola as manager at the Etihad, in a move which will certainly be of interest to Manchester United and Liverpool.
Guardiola has made City an unstoppable force since joining the club from Bayern Munich in 2016. Under his guidance, they have won four Premier League titles, one FA Cup, four League Cups and two Community Shields.
The one trophy they have not been able to lift is the Champions League. They reached the final in the 2020-21 season but lost 1-0 to Chelsea due to a Kai Havertz winner. The Citizens came within a whisker of the final again last season, beating Real Madrid in the first leg of their semi-final. However, a stunning Real comeback in the second leg dumped City out of the competition, and their search goes on.
Not winning the Champions League for City is probably the main reason why Guardiola is still at the club. In November, the Spaniard extended his contract, with the fresh terms keeping him at City until 2025.
While City officials love having one of the best ever managers in their ranks, they must begin to plan for life without him. They need to bring in another top-class coach who can continue the success when Guardiola leaves.
And Vincent Kompany could be the perfect man for the job. The Belgian played under Guardiola for three years, learning tactical and man-management skills off him.
Kompany is now in charge of Burnley and is doing brilliantly. He has the Clarets at the top of the Championship, with a 16-point lead on third-placed Watford. Only Paul Heckingbottom’s Sheffield United seem to be able to keep up with Kompany’s men.
There is a strong chance Kompany could come up against Guardiola on the touchline next season, with Burnley strong favourites for promotion back to the Premier League. Not only has the former centre-back got Burnley winning games, but they are also playing exciting football.
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During an appearance on talkSPORT, Onuoha sung the praises of Kompany by saying: “It is unfair that Vini is coaching in the Championship because he is so far ahead of the other managers that are in that division.
“From the way he looks at the game, the way he is with the players. Everything. He is a million miles ahead of all of them.
“You look at it, [Burnley] are 16 points clear of the team that are third, so they are almost certain to go up automatically.
“Some managers have really good ideas but don’t know how to implement them.
“But first, he has to command their respect because its him firstly. He will say things like ‘how would you like to get more touches on the ball?’”
Onuoha added: “From a preparations standpoint, he has got it sorted. He’s got the ideas, he’s got the vision, he has played under some really good managers but he is still very much himself.
“The fact that you can take Burnley [from] a team that doesn’t really want to play into a team that insists on playing, and find success with it, says a lot about him.”
Onuoha was then asked about Kompany becoming Guardiola’s successor. He added: “In the Championship, you’ve got some young managers. So he’s 37 now, but there are people managing at 77 so he might manage City in the future.
“But who knows what City will look like in the future, anything could happen.”
City’s local rivals Man Utd, as well as their former title challengers Liverpool, will certainly be keeping an eye on the situation. They will be hoping Guardiola’s replacement is not as successful, as this would give them a much better chance of winning the Premier League.