Pep Guardiola is blessed with an array of talented star players in every department of the team but the Manchester City boss has admitted he is really unfair to ‘many, many players’, including Brazilian full back, Danilo. The former Real Madrid man has made just seven appearances for Guardiola’s team in all competitions this season having long been overlooked for England defender Kyle Walker.
But Danilo has found himself getting favourable look-ins from Guardiola in recent games, starting in the important 2-1 win over Premier League leaders Liverpool on Thursday in a game Walker was widely expected to start given he was Guardiola’s first choice right back. According to the Man. City boss, however, Danilo had played so well in the previous match at Southampton which City won 3-1 that he had done enough to convince him to keep him in the starting XI to face the Reds, a move which paid dividends.
But Danilo’s recent good form has given Guardiola a bit of a dilemma regarding selection with Walker also playing well as City cruised to a 7-0 demolition of Rotherham United in the third round of the FA Cup. “I decided for Danilo [against Liverpool], he deserves to play. He played good at Southampton, today Kyle plays the best game of the season by far [against Rotherham],” Guardiola said of his right-back selection dilemma.
He added: “It was incredible the way he played. It’s difficult for me to choose, but I never give Danilo four or five games in a row. Sometimes I’m really unfair with many, many players and when I decided to play him against Southampton he did really well and that’s why he played against Liverpool.”
The Man. City boss also welcomed playmaker Kevin De Bruyne back to action after the Belgium international sat out the Liverpool win as an unused substitute, and the City boss is hopeful his talisman can be a crucial factor in the title race. “We spoke with him yesterday and told him to play at full intensity 65-70 minutes for his rhythm and his injury,” the Catalan continued. “He played incredible, created chances and has vision that others aren’t able to see. Hopefully in the last part of the season he is going to help us because we need him.”
Guardiola went on: “Last season without him [winning the title with a record 100 points] would not have been possible. We try to be a team and of course so far we have done incredible in terms of results. To have 50 points in the Premier League is incredible. We had two seasons without [Benjamin] Mendy at full-back, we are sad but we have to carry on. Today Kevin was our captain and he showed the reason why he was our captain on the field.”