Pep Guardiola’s decision to sell Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus to Arsenal could come back to haunt Manchester City, according to Sam Allardyce.
The pair were both allowed to make the switch to the Emirates last summer, and they could play a key role in the Gunners clinching the Premier League title ahead of City. Allardyce believes fans won’t be too happy that Guardiola sanctioned the two transfers:
“He’s (Guardiola) going to get some stick though for selling those players to Arsenal if they win the league. He’s going to get some stick about that by the way. All the fans will look and say ‘look at what it’s cost us’ if they don’t win the league, he’ll be right under the cosh I think. It’s his buddy isn’t it? He was with him for years and he helped him get the job at Arsenal and now he’s given him two quality players to go.”
There are two ways of looking at the situation. Allardyce is right that the Citizens did strengthen a rival and it appears from the outside looking in that Guardiola was doing a favour for a friend.
On the other hand, both players wanted to leave the Etihad and, in Jesus’s case, he had just a year left on his contract. No team outside of England would have paid £75m for the pair of them so the decision likely came down to finances.
It is also important to point out that director of football Txiki Begiristain has the final say on player sales, and he was the one who ultimately gave approval to the pair moving to Arsenal.