Which players have appeared the most throughout Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City reign?

Which players have appeared the most throughout Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City reign?
Which players have appeared the most throughout Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City reign?

There can be no denying that Pep Guardiola has not only revolutionised Manchester City but revolutionised football as a whole. Back in 2008, when the iconic Spaniard took charge of boyhood club Barcelona, playing out from the back and rarely putting the ball in the air was something that neither fans nor players could comprehend. Now, however, pretty much every team plays in this style.

Of course, it was his trophy-laden stint with the Blaugrana where the transformation of the beautiful game began. With his tik-taka style of play, the Catalonian racked up three La Liga titles, two UEFA Champions Leagues, and two Copa Del Reys throughout the 53-year-old’s stint in charge at the Nou Camp. But Guardiola has continued being a revolutionary even during his time at the Etihad.

Not even a decade ago, full-backs were simply considered defenders or – in the most attacking of teams – defensive wingers. However, now they are being inverted and used in midfield. Guardiola was the catalyst for that through players like Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Now, he is even turning central defenders into midfielders in an attempt to overload the middle of the park, as we have seen with John Stones over the last two years.

As such then, it should be obvious that certain players are more crucial to their manager’s plans than others. But who has pulled on the famous light blue Manchester City shirt the most throughout Guardiola’s eight years in charge? Let’s find out.

Bernardo Silva

Pep’s stint in charge of Manchester City has been a resounding success, of that, there can be no doubt. He has won the Premier League five times and thanks to recent losses for both Arsenal and Liverpool, online soccer betting sites now make his team the 1/4 favourites to lift the title for a sixth – and fourth in a row – time. Add to that six domestic cups and the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League, and it’s clear that Guardiola’s tenure has been a revelation.

But it wasn’t always that way. After his first season in charge, the Spaniard remained without a trophy. In his first UEFA Champions League campaign with Manchester City, his team headed into a Round of 16 Champions League clash against Monaco. City were heavily favoured to progress. However, the French side, spearheaded by a teenage Kylian Mbappe had other ideas, knocking out the Blues on away goals.

But it wasn’t the fearsome striker that caught the eye. No, it was talented attacking playmaker Bernardo Silva. At the end of that season, City forked out over £40m to bring the Portuguese sensation to the Etihad. Since then, he has gone on to become integral to the team. Bernardo has made 346 appearances and counting in all competitions, the most of anyone during Guardiola’s reign. During that time frame, he has netted 65 goals and provided 61 assists.

But the stats don’t tell the whole story. He’s the creative spark in the team and can craft openings at will, and at the age of 29, we’re likely to see him continue in the same vein for at least a couple more years.

Kevin De Bruyne

If there is one man that perhaps overshadows the aforementioned Silva, it is Belgian midfield ace Kevin De Bruyne. He is Manchester City’s main man, and of that, there can be no doubt, with the team being built around his playmaking abilities. But not everyone was convinced when the Blues forked out an eye-watering £55m to bring him to the Etihad from Wolfsburg in the summer of 2015.

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson unleashed a scathing review of the transfer on live TV, and many agreed with his point of view. But De Bruyne has certainly made him eat his words and then some. The 32-year-old has gone on to arguably become the greatest midfielder the Premier League has ever seen. He has made 332 appearances under Guardiola, as well as a further 25 under his predecessor Manuel Pellegrini. During that time, he has scored a century of goals and provided a mighty 166 assists, as well as being named Premier League Player of the Season twice.


Upon Guardiola’s arrival at the Etihad, the importance of having a goalkeeper who could perform well with the ball at his feet was paramount, as Joe Hart found out. The former England goalkeeper was the undisputed number one for both his country and Manchester City, a role he had excelled in for nine years. As such, it came as a shock when he was immediately shipped out of the club unceremoniously.

It was thought that former Barcelona keeper Claudio Bravo was the chosen one, but his stint with the club was filled with errors. That prompted Guardiola to bring in another new keeper in the form of Benfica shot-stopper Ederson, and that proved to be third time lucky. The Brazilian has made 326 appearances for City and has been a reliable last line of defence since his arrival in the summer of 2017 for £35m.