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Pep Guardiola’s First Man City Starting XI: Where Are They Now?

Pep Guardiola’s First Man City Starting XI: Where Are They Now?

By Jack Patmore.

Pep Guardiola has made Manchester City a winning machine ever since he arrived at the Etihad Stadium in 2016.

In that time, the Spaniard has won the Emirates FA Cup, four Carabao Cups and four Premier League titles and he has built one of the best teams in Europe.

Guardiola took charge of his first Manchester City game against Sunderland on the opening day of the 2016/17 campaign.

Sergio Agüero scored with four minutes played but a Jermain Defoe goal on the 71-minute mark levelled the scoring.

City secured the victory in the last few minutes of the game after Paddy McNair’s own goal. But where are the players from that win over Sunderland now?

Willy Caballero – Southampton 

The Argentinean goalkeeper spent three years on the blue side of Manchester where he made 23 appearances. He subsequently joined Chelsea where he was mainly used as a backup ‘keeper and just over a year ago, Caballero joined Southampton with his contract running out at the end of the season.

Bacary Sagna – Retired 

Once described as the best right-back in the Premier League by his Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, Sagna opted to leave the Gunners for City in 2014. He was an excellent defender for Arsenal but he was unable to completely replicate that in a Manchester City shirt.

John Stones – Manchester City

Stones has been an ever-present at the Etihad Stadium following his £47.5m move from Everton. He joined in the summer that Guardiola arrived and he has won multiple Premier League titles. The 28-year-old has made over 200 appearances and has been capped on 64 occasions for England.

Aleksander Kolarov – Retired

The defender left one year after Guardiola’s arrival, going on to represent Serie A outfits Roma and Inter Milan making a century of appearances for the former. In June, he announced his retirement from professional football.

Gaël Clichy – Servette

Similarly to Sagna, Clichy went from Arsenal to Manchester City. He spent six years there, making just under 150 appearances. After his spell with City, Clichy joined İstanbul Başakşehir before he joined Swiss Super League side Servette in 2020, where he remains today.

Fernandinho – Athletico Paranaense

One of Guardiola’s most important players, Fernandinho became a cult hero at the Etihad and re-joined Furacão in the summer. He made almost 400 appearances for City as well as 53 caps for the Brazil national team – a truly fantastic player.

Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City

Possibly one of the best creative midfielders in the history of the Premier League, De Bruyne is a magnificent player to watch. The Belgian has been a stalwart in Guardiola’s side and he quickly became described as a ‘complete footballer’ by many pundits following his arrival in 2015.

David Silva – Real Sociedad

Like De Bruyne, Silva was an artist at work during his time in England and he was a fan favourite in his decade at the club. He lifted a FIFA World Cup, two European Championships and four Premier League titles but he is now at Real Sociedad at the age of 37.

Raheem Sterling – Chelsea

Sterling left the Etihad in the summer for Chelsea for a fee in the region of £47.5m. He has made 15 appearances for the west Londoners this campaign in the Premier League but he has struggled to replicate his form there, after scoring over 100 goals for City.

Sergio Agüero – Retired 

Perhaps up there as one of the best Premier League strikers of his generation, Agüero scored 260 goals in ten years at Manchester City. He had some memorable moments, mainly that last-minute goal against QPR to secure the 2011/12 Premier League title. Agüero was forced to retire in 2021 after being diagnosed with a cardiac arrhythmia.

Nolito – Ibiza

Nolito spent one season with Guardiola before leaving for Sevilla. He spent three years at Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán and then he joined Celta Vigo where he made 79 appearances. The Spaniard now finds himself at second-tier side Ibiza.