Sergio Gomez will probably be Manchester City’s final acquisition this summer, according to Pep Guardiola.
The defending Premier League champions have been looking for a new left-back all summer and tried to sign Marc Cucurella from Brighton, but Chelsea ultimately won the bidding due to their refusal to match the Seagulls’ asking price.
While all of this was going on, City signed Anderlecht’s 21-year-old Gomez in a deal, intending to loan him out for the upcoming season. However, after failing to find a suitable replacement, City decided to keep Gomez.
“The moment we couldn’t go through with Cucurella because the club decide we wouldn’t pay this amount of money for this player, I said ‘okay’, think about the idea we had before to loan Sergio,” Guardiola told a press conference.
“We spent time to watch him more. I said ‘okay, it is perfect for everything – the price, young player, desire – okay, go for it’.
“He was a No.10 like Alex Zinchenko, now he adapt in that position. When that happens, [Johan] Cruyff told me all the time that when a winger can play at left-back they will be the best left-back. When a holding midfielder can play as a central defender, they will be the best central defender. It’s difficult for players from behind to play forward but not difficult for players to play back.
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“He was No.10 but had the quality to do it in the small pockets in the middle. After we know him a little bit as a person, and convince him the way he comes. I like when players come here that it’s a dream because they give everything for us.
“He’s so young, open to learn, I spoke with Vinny [Vincent Kompany, former Anderlecht manager] about him. He has to improve in some departments, that’s why he’s 21 and he’s going to improve but he’s perfect for what we need.”
With a new left-back soon to be added to the squad, Guardiola confirmed City’s business is likely done.
“I’m very, very pleased with the team. It’s not [big] in terms of numbers but there is incredible versatility and they all have huge quality – even the young academy lads,” he said. “The quality is there, they just have to push each other to the next step this season.
“If nobody moves, I think nobody’s coming in. Now I have the feeling that if we have a problem with Kyle [Walker] and Joao [Cancelo] we have players who can replace them. That’s why Sergio comes. Even Nathan [Ake] can play there.
“In the right you have Kyle, Joao, John [Stones] and maybe Rico [Aymeric Laporte]. We don’t have a big squad but we have some players who play in different positions quite well. That’s why the moment we decide for Sergio, the debate for another left-back was over.”