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Josh Wilson-Esbrand to be offered a senior Manchester City contract in the summer

Manchester City’s Josh Wilson-Esbrand will be offered a spot in the senior squad if he avoids injury this season, according to manager Pep Guardiola. The 19-year-old defender has been with Manchester City since 2019, joining from West Ham United, where he spent the majority of his youth career. Wilson-Esbrand has since played for Manchester City’s academy as well as making his first-team and professional debut against Wycombe Wanderers in a 6-1 League Cup victory at the Etihad Stadium last season. The London-born defender played in Manchester City’s win over Club América last week and was named to the starting lineup for the club’s most recent game against Bayern Munich in the early hours of Sunday morning. Despite facing attacking and experienced pros such as Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane, and Serge Gnabry, Manchester City’s impressive youngster was unfazed and delivered a mature performance as his side won 1-0. Manchester City’s Josh Wilson-Esbrand (97) takes a shot while being defended by Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard. Wilson-Esbrand has impressed during his time in Manchester and on the recent American tour, leading Pep Guardiola to believe that the left-back is ready to make the step up to the senior squad. The manager was full of praise for his young player after the victory over Bayern Munich at Lambeau Field. “The problem with Josh (Wilson-Esbrand) is that he was injured for the last two years,” Pep Guardiola explained. “He had a knee problem and a muscular issue, but we believe he has potential. “He’s aggressive to win duels and with the ball is so clever, he has a good 1 V 1 defender and doesn’t feel the pressure with the ball,” Guardiola continued. “Today was an example of how our back-four was pressed but didn’t lose much of the ball.” “He played an excellent game. If we can keep his injuries under control, we will have a full-back for many years.” Pep Guardiola’s remarks make sense not only in light of Josh Wilson-talent, Esbrand’s but also in light of Manchester City’s current left back situation. Following the £30 million transfer of Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal, the club now has just two senior full-backs in Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo. Throughout the summer, the Premier League champions have been pursuing a deal for Brighton & Hove Albion’s Marc Cucurella. Manchester City’s initial bid of around £30 million was rejected by the Seagulls, who value their Spanish defender at around £50 million after an award-winning season last season. Manchester City vs. Marc Cucurella (New Images LTD/Alamy) If Manchester City are to compete on all four fronts in the upcoming 2022/23 season, squad depth will be critical, and having Wilson-Esbrand as a viable option in the wide defensive positions could make or break Pep Guardiola’s side.

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