Pep Guardiola will not repeat the transfer risk from Arsenal that he never allowed with Liverpool

When Jürgen Klopp has left Liverpool and his tenure is looked back on as a whole, there will be a number of things that define him. He was the man who ended the wait for a league title; won the Champions League in Madrid; and formed a bond with the Anfield support that surpasses anything seen for half a century.

However, the Klopp era will also be remembered for his battles with Manchester City and Pep Guardiola. With far fewer resources, the German has been able to challenge the Etihad side far more than his one league title might suggest. Without Liverpool, Manchester City would be chasing a seventh title in a row, not a fourth.

At best, the perfection Manchester City needed to win was led by Liverpool. Under Klopp, the Reds reached 99 points when they won the league and 97 and 92 when they finished second. These were the two best teams in the world and there was no chance that one would concede any ground to the other.

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This time, Liverpool fell out of the title reckoning, leaving the task of stopping Manchester City or, rather, in the hope that Guardiola’s side will somehow slip up – to Arsenal. And yet just two years ago, Manchester City were happy to sell players to the Emirates when Mikel Arteta’s project began.

In the summer of 2022, Manchester City sold both Gabriel Jesus ($57m/£45m/€52m) and Oleksandr Zinchenko ($38m/£30m/€35m) towards north London. With Liverpool on the boil in the following season, Arteta’s side came closest to spoiling the title procession.

Selling that duo to Arsenal was a risk, although Guardiola was eventually proved right. Manchester City managed to win the title last season and while the Gunners have improved since then, it is not due to any acquisitions from their title rivals.

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