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Pep Guardiola Says Man City Will Miss Raheem Sterling, Oleksandr Zinchenko And Gabriel Jesus

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has admitted that he did not want to sell Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus or Raheem Sterling and that they will all be missed.

Zinchenko and Jesus moved to Arsenal this summer, while Chelsea signed Sterling.

Between them, the trio made 73 Premier League appearances in City's title-winning 2021/22 campaign.

But all three also spent their fair share of time on the bench in Guardiola's famous squad-rotation system.

A desire for more game time is understood to have been the main motivation behind their moves away from the Etihad Stadium.

While Guardiola respects their decisions to leave, he admits he would have liked them all to stay.

"There are decisions for the club and decisions for the players," Guardiola told mancity.com.

"I said from day one since arriving here you have to be where you want to be.

"All I can say on Raheem, Gabriel, and Oleksandr is that all we have done this season would not have been possible without them."

Pep Guardiola pictured with Gabriel Jesus after Manchester City's 2-2 draw at West Ham in May 2022

Pep Guardiola pictured with Gabriel Jesus after Manchester City's 2-2 draw at West Ham in May 2022

Sterling was arguably the most significant player to leave City this summer.

The 27-year-old contributed 91 goals and 42 assists in the Premier League in his seven seasons as a City player.

In each of those seasons, Sterling made at least 30 EPL appearances.

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"Raheem made this explosion of something incredible and unpredictable," Guardiola said.

"I saw his ambition to score more goals and assists grow. I would say the impact for the way he played and never got injured was top."

Zinchenko signed for City in July 2016 but did not make his debut until October 2017 after being loaned out to PSV Eindhoven.

After making 14 appearances in all competitions in the 2017/18 campaign, Zinchenko went on to play at least 25 matches in each of the next four seasons.

Guardiola added: "Oleksandr arriving as a boy, he went on loan to Holland, we wanted to sell him and he said: 'No, I want to stay here.'

"He was in the gym when everyone was sleeping, making extra training sessions and he said his time was come.

"His time came and he was ready. He is a top-class player and we will miss him. As a guy he can handle the pressure incredibly well and he has incredible self-confidence."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (left) pictured hugging Oleksandr Zinchenko after a game in 2019

Guardiola pictured hugging Oleksandr Zinchenko after a game in 2019

Jesus scored 95 goals in six seasons as a City player, despite spending more than half of that time as understudy to Sergio Aguero.

But it was not just his goals that impressed Guardiola about Jesus. The Spaniard believes City will miss the way Jesus used to defend from the front.

"Gabriel is the nicest player I ever worked with and it was a huge task to compete with Sergio Aguero," Guardiola continued.

"The young player from Brazil came to compete with him and he is the best striker-defender I have ever worked with across three positions. He plays five minutes and plays the best five minutes of his life.

"He can press three or four players in 10 seconds for 90 minutes."

Guardiola then concluded: "I have the feeling in most cases we will miss them. It's life and their successes will be our happiness."