With the international break now at an end and normal football returning to the calendar this weekend, Manchester City created headlines of their own on Thursday afternoon as they announced that England right back, Kyle Walker, has now agreed (and put pen to paper on) a new two year extension on his time at the Etihad Stadium.
The 33 year old had been linked with a potential move to German Bundesliga side Bayern Munich over the summer, and given that he entered the final year of his existing contract for the 2023/23 campaign, there was always a high likelihood that there would be an extension in store given how highly rated he is by manager Pep Guardiola – although the pair have had their moments during their tenure together.
Back in the 2022/23 campaign, fans in the wider football world will remember that Guardiola actually dropped him from the first team set up for a period, stating that he was unable to play in the new defensive system he wanted to use in the second half of the campaign as they continued to fight for the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League. Guardiola’s decisions, however harsh, proved to be correct as they went on to secure the Treble and although Walker himself went on record and admitted that those decisions ‘hurt’ him, he clearly didn’t take it too personally and he is back in the fold now, and has already featured in six of their games this year. He has also importantly, skippered them in the vast majority of those games this year – so it clearly was not personal. His new contract could see him potentially break through the 300 game milestone for them.
Having already played his part in helping the side to win 13 major trophies during his six years in Manchester following his £45 million move from Tottenham Hotspur back in the summer of 2017, his new deal will keep him at the club until 2026.
“I’m thrilled to sign a new deal. My future is with Manchester City and that is the best thing for me. I’ve enjoyed every single moment of the past six years at this fantastic club. I have an amazing coach, great team-mates and staff and our fans are the best. I feel supported on every single level.”
Director of football, Txiki Begiristain said of his new deal as it was announced.
“We are very happy that Kyle will be here until 2026. For me, he is the best right-back in the world, a player with a unique set of attributes. He brings a very special dynamic to our team. Kyle has been a huge part of our recent success.”
City fans will be pleased another successful stalwart remains at the club for longer.