Girona has not played in Spain’s top flight before this season, and Pep Guardiola just may help the Blanquivermell stay in La Liga for more than a single campaign.
The Manchester City boss has sanctioned the loan of four players to the Catalan club, with Pablo Maffeo, Marlos Moreno, Aleix Garcia, and new signing Douglas Luiz making season-long moves.
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Moreno made 19 appearances on loan for Deportivo de la Coruna last season, so he has La Liga experience, and Garcia played once for Villarreal before moving to Man City in 2015.
Maffeo is Spanish and spent 10 years at Espanyol’s academy, while Luiz moved to Man City just over two weeks ago.
Garcia and Maffeo made 12 combined appearances for City, with the former scoring a goal against Swansea City in the League Cup.
City announced it would play a friendly against Girona during a training camp in the city, the Spanish club’s last match before opening up La Liga play. Guardiola might be a little famous in Catalonia, so it’ll be a fairly memorable occasion.
The top-to-bottom depth of La Liga is hardly as strong as the Premier League or the Bundesliga, so this is a decent opportunity for a quartet of City players to earn meaningful minutes, make their names in Spain, and advance up Guardiola’s pecking order.
Soon after adding another young South American star, Manchester City has brought in another talented attacker with the addition of Colombian Marlos Moreno.
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The club announced a five-year deal for the 19-year-old on Saturday, who joins from reigning Copa Libertadores champions Atletico Nacional. Moreno will immediately go out on loan to La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna for the entire 2016/17 season.
“City are one of the best clubs in the world. It will be nice to experience being part of such a big Club. I want to make the most of it,” Moreno said of joining City.
“Pep Guardiola is one of the best managers in the world. I think he likes young players very much and he can improve young players tactically and technically. It will be great to work with him and to be part of a great team.”
Moreno has made a name for himself on the international scene as well, earning various call ups with the Colombian national team, including a spot on this summer’s Copa America Centenario team. The young attacker scored a goal in the team’s 3-2 loss to Costa Rica in the final group stage match in the U.S.
City has been very active this summer, as Pep Guardiola’s side looks to improve in the Spaniard’s first season in charge at the Etihad Stadium. The Citizens are coming off of a fourth-place finish in last season’s Premier League standings.
Between the signings of Ilkay Gundogan, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus, City could be primed for a move back to the top of the table, however, other sides like Chelsea and Manchester United have been active as well.