Manchester City begin their 2023/24 UEFA Champions League campaign on Tuesday – with Josko Gvardiol looking to make his Citizens debut in the competition.
The Croatia international has made four Premier League appearances and one UEFA Super Cup outing since completing his £77.6m move from RB Leipzig in August.
What’s the story?
Well, the Spaniard is arguably the greatest coach of his generation – if not in the history of football – and many players have improved considerably under his guidance.
Guardiola has developed John Stones – a natural defender – into someone who was able to dictate a UEFA Champions League final from midfield, to give just one example of his remarkable coaching skills.
Now, the 52-year-old is looking to add further dimensions to Gvardiol’s game.
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Guardiola was seen to be involved in a private discussion with the 21-year-old as the rest of Manchester City’s squad warmed up in training, where plenty of hand gestures could be seen as the Croatian wonderkid gets to grips with life at the Etihad Stadium.
Joe Bray of the Manchester Evening News wrote: “No surprises in City training. Kovacic, Grealish, Stones still missing. Some youngsters called up to the group. Pep gave Gvardiol some detailed instructions before the session got going.”
You can see footage of the interaction below.
Josko Gvardiol can become a great at Manchester City
Gvardiol’s decision to team up with a coach as effective as Guardiola at the age of just 21 could see him develop into an iconic player, as far as we’re concerned.
The Zagreb-born prospect is already among the best defenders in Europe, helping Croatia finish third at the 2022 World Cup with some truly outstanding performances.
Gvardiol looked set to become a great even without Guardiola’s guidance, but now their paths have crossed, the future looks even more promising for this precocious defender.