It has been a torrid few months for Joe Hart. After a poor Euro 2016 with England, the goalkeeper found himself relegated to substitute for Man City’s first Premier League game under Pep Guardiola.
Much of the media surrounding the Spaniard’s decision focussed on the Three Lions number one’s inability to play with the ball at his feet.
However, there was one telling quote from Hart’s new boss following the Citizens’ 2-1 win over Sunderland which suggests the Englishman may make a swift return to starting duties.
“I thought Sunderland played high pressing and Willy had trained in more sessions than Joe. We have spent a lot of time working in training. That doesn’t mean Joe can’t do that. Just today, it was for that reason,” the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich man said.
Simply put, Hart’s late return to City following the European Championships meant Caballero, who has had a full pre-season, was better versed in Guardiola’s preferred method, where building up from the back is key.
In time, Hart will catch up on what is required and will in all likelihood return between the sticks.
For many, the move to the bench is the first step in the England international departing the Etihad Stadium. In reality that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Not only is there no obvious landing spot for the 29-year-old, in the Premier League at least, but there is no replacement beyond Caballero on City’s books.
Links with Blaugrana glove-wearer Marc-Andre ter Stegen have been regular this summer. But considering how quickly City have acted in the transfer market to nab other targets, there’s a feeling that the German would have arrived by now if the club held a serious interest.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.