Ghana's No. 1

Sergio Gomez has Pep Guardiola chance he thought might not come at Man City

Published on: 07 October 2022

Kyle Walker's injury and subsequent surgery will have rocked Pep Guardiola's plans.

At Manchester City the depth of talent is huge, yet Guardiola manages to make sure that somehow all of the members of his squad are satisfied with the minutes they receive. That does not mean to say that City don't have a tight-knit group of first team regulars they can depend on.

Since arriving at the Etihad Stadium, Walker has established himself as one of those who is a key asset of Guardiola's first choice back line with his style of play, alongside Joao Cancelo on the opposite flank, a big part of how the Blues attack. Before the Manchester derby, Guardiola had already raised concerns regarding injuries, how they could hamper his team and make life more difficult.

Sadly for City, those comments foreshadowed a disaster in the shape of Walker's demise with injury. Coming just five minutes before half time, the substitution was almost missed in the flurry of ecstasy which preceded it. Only now, four days after the fact, can Guardiola rue the bad luck that has befallen Walker.

However, as one door closes another opens. And, as ruthless as it may sound, Sergio Gomez is excellently positioned to benefit from Walker's absence. The 22-year-old arrived from Anderlecht in the summer and was given the unenviable task of dislodging Walker and Cancelo.

Gomez has so far made six appearances for the Blues and in his two most recent appearances he has grabbed three assists against Manchester United and FC Copenhagen. In the little we have seen of him, you can already see why Guardiola was keen to add him to this team.

He offers similar traits to the two established stars of this City side and he also fits the bill in terms of his personality. "When you come to a big club you're aware what's in the squad," Gomez said prior to the visit of the Danes this week.

"They're all great players. You are expectant at the beginning.

"It's a dream to be coached by him [Guardiola], I made my dream come true. I learn from him when we chat or train. I take all the information he gives me. Hopefully I can learn more in the years to come."

Gomez's eagerness in wanting to learn and improve will stand him in good stead in a squad that is full of — to coin a phrase from Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp — 'mentality monsters'. Now. though. Gomez has the opportunity to learn on the job so to speak.

For however long Walker remains on the sidelines following his surgery, Gomez will have the chance to prove why he should be Guardiola's first choice even when the squad is at full strength. Given City's lack of other full-back options, the Spaniard must grasp it with both hands.


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