Pep Guardiola's 10 worst signings of his managerial career


Pep Guardiola has been one of the best managers in the world over the past 12 years.

The former Spain midfielder has had great success at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

However, despite his achievements as a manager, Guardiola has his fair share of critics.

The 49-year-old has spent great amounts of money during his career, with many dubbing him a 'chequebook manager'.

He hasn't always spent his money wisely, either.

Guardiola has spent huge amounts of money on players that have simply not performed.

In total, Guardiola has made 73 signings since becoming Barcelona B manager in 2007. We've listed the 10 worst below.

10. Danilo

Transfer: Real Madrid to Manchester City | 2017 | £26.5m

Guardiola has a history of spending massive amounts of money on full-backs at Manchester City.

They haven't always paid off, with Danilo being the biggest flop.

Signed for £26.5 million, Danilo made just 34 Premier League appearances across two seasons at the club. He left for Juventus last summer.


9. Jan Kirchhoff

Transfer: Mainz to Bayern Munich | 2013 | Free transfer

Kirchhoff was signed on a free transfer, so Bayern didn't actually waste too much money on him.

But he didn't contribute much at all for Bayern during his three year stay. He played just 12 games before departing for Sunderland in 2016.


8. John Stones

Transfer: Everton to Manchester City | 2016 | £50m

Guardiola put a lot of faith in Stones when he made him the second most expensive defender ever in 2016.

He's failed to establish himself as Man City's first-choice centre-back, though, having put in a number of erratic performances in the last four years.

Guardiola would have expected more given he paid so much money for him.


7. Martin Caceres

Transfer: Villarreal to Barcelona | 2008 | £14.85m

Caceres was one of Guardiola's first signings as Barcelona manager. It's also one of the worst he's ever made.

The Uruguayan defender played just 23 games in his first season at the club as he was fourth choice.

He was then shipped out on loan and left the club permanently in 2011.


6. Keirrison

Transfer: Palmeiras to Barcelona | 2009 | £12.60m

Guardiola signed Keirrison, a highly-rated 20-year-old from Brazil, for £12.60m in 2009.

Unfortunately, he would spend the vast majority of his five years at the club out on loan.

He officially left the club in 2014 when his contract ran out. He didn't play a single game for the club.


5. Nolito

Transfer: Celta Vigo to Manchester City | 2016 | £16.20m

Another signing that failed to make the grade at Manchester City. 

He lasted just one season at the club, scoring six times in 30 appearances.


4. Claudio Bravo

Transfer: Barcelona to Manchester City | 2016 | £16.20m

Shortly after moving to Man City, Guardiola made the bold decision to replace long-term goalkeeper Joe Hart with Bravo.

That proved to be a mistake.

The Chilean goalkeeper made a number of howlers in his debut season and lost his place to Willy Caballero. 

He's been back-up ever since. It seems like he makes a mistake every time he plays.


3. Dmytro Chygrynskyi

Transfer: Shakhtar to Barcelona | 2009 | £22.50m

When Caceres was sent out on loan, Guardiola decided to replace him with Chygrnskyi.

But he had similar fortunes to Caceres.

The Ukrainian played just 14 times in his first season at Barca and was then sold back to Shakhtar. 


2. Aleksandr Hleb

Transfer: Arsenal to Barcelona | 2008 | £15.30m

Hleb played 36 times for Barcelona... he failed to hit the back of the net once.

With numbers as poor as that, it goes without saying that he lasted just one season in Barca's first team.


1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Transfer: Inter Milan to Barcelona | 2009 | £62.55m

Let's get one thing straight, Ibrahimovic is by no means the worst player that has played under Guardiola. To be honest, he's one of the best.

But his time at Barcelona was disastrous. Guardiola signed him for £62.55m; a ridiculous amount of money 11 years ago.

He did okay on the pitch, scoring 21 times in 45 games.

But he wasn't a Barcelona player. He didn't adapt to Barcelona's Tiki-taka style of play at all.

And, Zlatan and Guardiola also suffered a major falling out during their time together, a feud which is still going on today.

Just a year after signing him, Barcelona agreed to sell him for £40m less than what they paid. If you ask Guardiola what his biggest regret in management is, signing Ibrahimovic would be very high up on that list.


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