Guardiola’s Top 10 Worst Signings: A Closer Look at Costly Choices

Explore Pep Guardiola's regrettable transfers, from Zlatan Ibrahimovic's expensive exit to Benjamin Mendy's £52m headache.

Pep Guardiola, renowned for his managerial success, has certainly had his share of hits and misses in the transfer market, making him one of the managers who signed many players in his team that failed to perform. However, he has always been in a club that is well renowned and has a huge budget, which made signing of his desired player easy.

Pep is known as one of the best Premier League managers, winning five titles out of the last six seasons, which is an amazing feat. Last year, he won a treble with Manchester City. They won their first UEFA Champions League title and Pep’s third title, then the Premier League for the third consecutive time and, after that, the FA Cup.

Pep Guardiola’s Top 10 Worst Signing

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (£59m): He is known for his legendary attitude and for shining in every club he goes to. However, when he signed for Barcelona from Inter Milan, he was one of the top talents, and everyone thought he would shine in Barcelona, but he failed to deliver the same performance even after having an amazing starting 10 matches. He scored only 22 goals in 46 matches for FC Barcelona.

Benjamin Mendy (£52m): Pep signed him to make him one of the best left-backs as he was considered one of the best young talents. That’s why Man City gave 57.50 million euros. He played 75 matches for Manchester City and showed disappointing defensive performance. Later he was allegedly accused of the rape incident that made FIFA ban him from playing for one season till he came clean.

Kalvin Phillips (£42m): was unable to adapt to the Pep formation and playing style, which the manager preferred, so he went to West Ham United in half of the season. He had amazing seasons with Leeds United, and as an academy player, he was one of the best central midfielders in the 2021/22 season. He played 234 matches with Leeds and scored 14 goals.

Dmytro Chyhrynskyi (£22m): has been one of the Shakhtar Donetsk veterans who played 193 matches and scored 16 goals, but in 2008/2009, he made a great name for himself, which is why Barcelona signed him for 25 million euros.

Claudio Bravo (£17m): Signed to replace Joe Hart, Bravo struggled to adapt to the Premier League, facing criticism for his performances before eventually being replaced by Ederson. He failed to perform well in the Premier League, and after 61 matches, he was sold to Real Betis on a free transfer.

Joao Cancelo (£60m): Cancelo’s volatile personality and clashes with Guardiola led to a loan move to Bayern Munich, followed by underwhelming performances at Barcelona. He is not a failed transfer due to his performance. He just had some personal issues with Guardiola, which led him to go to Barcelona on loan.

Medhi Benatia (£22m): Despite an impressive goal-scoring record at Roma, Benatia struggled to secure a consistent place in Guardiola’s team, making high-profile errors and eventually moving to Juventus. He has been playing for Udinese Calico for the last three seasons.

Martin Caceres (£14m): Caceres, Guardiola’s first signing, failed to make an impact at Barca, was relegated to fourth-choice center-back, and left for Juventus after just one season.

Nolito (£14m): Although known to Guardiola from their time at Barcelona, Nolito struggled to adapt to the Premier League, lasting only a year at City before returning to Sevilla.

Mario Gotze (£32m): Despite initial success at Bayern, Gotze’s career stagnated under Guardiola’s management, prompting a return to Borussia Dortmund and later moving to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Guardiola’s transfer history highlights the challenges of maintaining success in the transfer market, with some signings failing to meet expectations or adapting to his demanding style.

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