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Angelino Lambasts Pep Guardiola for Destroying his Confidence

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What is the young fullback thinking?

FBL-EUR-C1-LEIPZIG-LIVERPOOL Photo by ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images

Former Manchester City left-back Angelino has hit back at Pep Guardiola for killing his self-confidence while at the club.

The Spanish left-back held nothing back in a recent interview after sealing a permanent move to German Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.

“Pep has killed me and my self-confidence,” Angelino said.

“After my move from Eindhoven back to City, he had already judged me on two pre-season games and then didn’t give me a real chance again.

“So I was happy that I moved to Leipzig and that I am now an integral part of the club.”

The 24-year-old began his professional career at the Etihad Stadium but was unable to force his way into the first team. He was then sent out on loan first to NAC Breda in the Netherlands Eredivisie for the 2017/18 campaign before sealing a permanent move to PSV Eindhoven.

He signed a five-year deal with PSV and had an impressive first season at the club with his performances drawing praise from several quarters. Seeking to bolster the left-back position following Benjamin Mendy’s struggles with injury, Guardiola moved to bring the player back to the Etihad Stadium. City re-signed the defender by triggering a buy-back clause in his contract.

Back at the Etihad Stadium, Angelino was faced with an uphill task straight away. Mendy had returned to fitness with both Oleksandr Zinchenko and Joao Cancelo waiting in the wings.

Consequently, he was restricted to just six senior appearances before being loaned to RB Leipzig. The Spaniard is now a regular at the German side. He has already featured in 31 games across all competitions this season, scoring eight goals and providing 11 assists.

Julian Nagelsmann’s side is competing for both the Bundesliga title and the Champions League this season. The side is currently second in the Bundesliga and has also reached the latter stages of the DFB Pokal.

Leipzig has rewarded the player for his good performance by triggering an €18 million (£16m/$21m) obligation to buy him outright from City after he reached a pre-agreed number of appearances for the current season. That has finally severed his ties with City.

In comparison to Guardiola, the left-back claims his new boss Julian Nagelsmann gave him confidence.

“One of them gave me confidence and let me play. The other one just didn’t.

“In Leipzig, I felt trust from day one. The club and the coach gave me an incredible push. I am now happy to be able to play consistently in Leipzig.”

However, the Spaniard gave his countryman credit for helping to improve him as a player despite the lack of regular playing time.

“It was a 50/50 experience. On one side I really learned a lot from Pep, he improved me as a player on the pitch and I have to be thankful also for the experience.

In hindsight, is Guardiola really to blame for letting Angelino go?

Looking at the way City’s defence has improved, it is difficult to say. Even Mendy who is supposed to be the first-choice left-back has not been a regular in the side.

In fact, against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League, the Blues played without a recognised left-back. Yet, the defence was solid.