Manchester City’s Josh Wilson-Esbrand will be offered a role in the senior team, if he remains injury-free this season, manager Pep Guardiola has said.
The 19-year-old defender has been on Manchester City’s books since 2019, having joined West Ham United – where he had spent the rest of his youth career playing.
Since then, Wilson-Esbrand has played for Manchester City’s academy and made his first-team and professional debut against Wycombe Wanderers in an emphatic 6-1 League Cup victory last season at the Etihad Stadium.
The London-born defender featured in Manchester City‘s win over Club América last week and was chosen to start the club’s final game against Bayern Munich in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Despite facing attacking and experienced pros including Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry, Manchester City‘s impressive youngster was unfazed and put in a mature performance as his side secured a 1-0 win. -0.
Wilson-Esbrand impressed during his time at Manchester and during the recent US tour, leading Pep Guardiola to be convinced it was the right time for the left-back to join the senior team.
Speaking at Lambeau Field after the win over Bayern Munich, the manager was full of praise for his youngster.
“The problem with Josh (Wilson-Esbrand) is the last two years he has been injured,” said Pep Guardiola.
“He had a knee problem and a muscle problem, but we think he has the potential.
Guardiola continued: “He’s aggressive to win duels and with the ball he’s so smart, he has a good 1v1 defender and doesn’t feel pressure with the ball.
“Today was an example of how our back fours were pressed but didn’t waste much of the ball.
“He played a very good game. If we can control his injuries, we will have a full-back for many years.”
Pep Guardiola’s comments make sense not only given Josh Wilson-Esbrand’s talent, but also given the Manchester City left-back’s current situation.
Following Oleksandr Zinchenko’s £30m move to Arsenal, the club currently find themselves with just two senior full-backs in Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo.
Manchester City had an opening bid of around £30m rejected by the Seagulls – who value their Spanish defender closer to £50m given the award-winning season he had last campaign.
If Manchester City are to fight on all four fronts in this upcoming 2022/23 season then squad depth will be crucial and having Wilson-Esbrand as a viable option in the wide defensive positions could make all the difference for the club. Pep Guardiola’s team.