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Vincent Kompany recalls Man City controversial switch in 2016 which Erik ten Hag wants at Man United this summer



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Credit: The Overlap

Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany has recalled Pep Guardiola’s decision to sell Joe Hart when he joined the club in 2016.

The Spanish manager joined Manchester United’s rivals that year and immediately decided to move on their no.1 despite him being widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League.

Guardiola brought in Claudio Bravo before swapping him for Ederson the following year – both might be regarded as worse shot-stoppers than Hart in his prime years, but they would offer City more control in the ball-dominant system that Pep introduced.

Kompany, who is now managing newly-promoted Premier League side Burnley, believes that his former teammate Hart was unfortunate that the ‘game changed’ at the top level as goalkeepers’ began to have demands playing out of the back.

“I don’t think people remember how big he was in those first two titles we had and in those first years where City was doing well, he was unbelievable,” explained Kompany when speaking about the former England international on Gary Neville’s The Overlap.

“He was just unlucky that the game changed right at the moment where he was going into his prime.”

Some would argue that this is a similar situation to the one Man United are in right now.

David de Gea has just come off the back of a campaign where he won the Premier League Golden Glove, but is yet to agree a new contract at Old Trafford.

Reports say that Erik ten Hag would prefer a new no.1 who is more suited to a ball-playing style whilst the board at United would prefer to extend the goalkeeper’s contract.

However, Kompany’s description of the fact that “the game changed” of Hart in 2016 is still relevant to De Gea in 2023. The likes of Diogo Costa or Andre Onana would help United change their way of play, alongside several outfield signings this summer.

Kompany believes that academies are at fault for talented shot-stoppers struggling to get into teams due to problems with the ball at their feet.

He added: “No matter what happened in the end (with Hart), I think we’ve got a lot of academy systems to blame for keepers’ today who are unbelievable keepers but not really getting into teams anymore because there are things that you could’ve learned when you were way younger with the ball.”