Pep Guardiola is a world-beater in his own right, conquering all leagues – La Liga, Bundesliga and Premier League – he has stepped foot in. Although his tactical ingenuity is the top ingredient for his success, the Spanish gaffer, in order to be successful, didn’t shy away from breaking the break to get his desired players. Here we take a look at five of his expensive signings.
Aymeric Laporte ( Athletic Club to Manchester City)
Guardiola oversaw some of the expensive transfers of his career during his time at Manchester City and Aymeric Laporte was one. Citizens snapped up Laporte from Athletic Club back in 2018 after meeting his release clause worth £57m. The French centre-back quickly became a staple in the defence, leading City to the Premier League title in his first season. However, Laporte has struggled for form in the last two seasons due to injuries and also gone below John Stones and Ruben Dias.
Joao Cancelo (Juventus to Manchester City)
Guardiola’s notoriety for splurging on defenders continued with Joao Cancelo, who City signed for £60m from Juventus. Although the Portuguese was framed as a fiasco at the start, Guardiola shut down every critic by turning him into a player he was never before this season. The Spaniard reinvented the typical full-back role of Cancelo by giving him the licence to virtually act as a winger, which allowed him to thrive this season. Now, the price tag of £60m is making sense.
Riyad Mahrez ( Leicester to Manchester City)
Riyad Mahrez broke into the public’s eye following Leicester City’s fairy tale run in 2016, which saw them lift the Premier League trophy. City bought him for a record fee of around £60m in the summer of 2019 and has never failed to showcase his true class whenever he was on song. The Algerian winger has nine goals and four assists to his name in the English top-flight this season and still got plenty to offer.
Ruben Dias ( Benfica vs Manchester City)
It didn’t take long for Ruben Dias to be called the best centre-back in the Premier League in his debut season, which shows the impact of the Portuguese star. City acquired Dias from Benfica for a club-record fee last summer and he is undoubtedly worth every penny they had splurged on him. Forming a fruitful partnership in the defence alongside new-look John Stones, City, who are aiming for another PL glory, have maintained an impeccable defensive record this season.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan to Barcelona)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s time at Barcelona might be one of the underwhelming spells of his career and although the Catalans were deemed the best side back then, Guardiola’s ploy to bring the big Swede from Inter in a swap deal involving Samuel Eto’o completely backfired. Barca generated almost £62m through the sales of Eto’o in that transfer.