Man City announce new club captain for the season after player vote


Manchester City have revealed their new leadership group for the 2023/24 season, after Ilkay Gundogan left the club during the summer transfer window.

The German midfielder, who led Manchester City to an historic treble, left the Etihad Stadium for Barcelona on a free transfer in June, ending a seven-year stay at the club, having signed from Borussia Dortmund in 2016.

Gundogan became Manchester City captain in October last year, replacing Fernandinho following a first-team squad vote at the City Football Academy.

Kyle Walker will continue to wear the Manchester City armband after the players voted on their leaders for the new season.

Walker nearly left in summer to join Bayern Munich but was convinced to stay and signed a three-year deal that will see him remain at the Etihad until 2026. The England international has been captain for every game this season apart from the first Premier League game at Burnley, where Kevin De Bruyne started as skipper but was then forced off with injury.

As usual, Pep Guardiola made sure the squad waited until the end of the transfer window before all of the players voted on the five that would be the group of captains. As well as Walker and De Bruyne, Rodri and Ruben Dias have been picked again.

The new member of the group is Bernardo Silva, another player who could have left in summer but has instead signed a new deal to commit to the club until 2026. The 29-year-old has spent six years at the club like Walker has and has now been picked to be among the five captains.

Guardiola spoke at the weekend about how important Silva is to the group, saying how hard it would be to replace his place in the squad. Walker added to that and suggested that his relationship with the manager could be vital to getting extra days off.

“Bernardo has shown on the pitch how important he is to the team,” said Walker. “Off the pitch there is a lot that you don’t see. He has a really good relationship with the manager, so if we want days off we’ll get him to ask.”

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