During Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with West Ham, Pep Guardiola decided to bring Kyle Walker off the pitch and replaced him with Oleksandr Zinchenko – with the Ukrainian international recently returning from injury.
Following the match, the Manchester City boss went on to reveal the reasons behind his decision, citing the fact that Kyle Walker has started every game for the club this season. Guardiola was also quick to confirm that the England right-back was ‘exhausted’.
“He [Kyle Walker] was exhausted. He [Kyle Walker] has played every minute here and with the national team. He is exhausted. I don’t think [he will be rested in Marseille], tomorrow we will regenerate, we will travel to France and see how the people feel.”
Pep Guardiola also revealed after the game as to why he decided to bring on Zinchenko as opposed to the more attacking-minded Ferran Torres, who certainly impressed in the midweek victory over Porto. Guardiola claimed that he wanted to have a left-footed player on the left, and further explained:
“It was to have a left-footed [player on] left, and right-footed on the right. That was the reason why – on the left, we go inside and the right we have problems to lose balls and needed to play more on the left.”
Although Manchester City had to make do with a draw, ending a fantastic run of nine consecutive victories over West Ham, Kevin De Bruyne’s return to action will prove to be a huge boost for Pep Guardiola’s side, who now turn their attention to Champions League duties on Tuesday night.
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