Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola on Wednesday said he will allow his players to decide who will captain the Premier League champions next season following the departure of long-time skipper Vincent Kompany.
The captain’s armband is up for grabs at City after Kompany left at the end of last season after 11 years in Manchester to take up a player-coach role at Anderlecht, the club at which the 33-year-old started his career.
We will choose the team captain. We will wait until everyone is back and they will choose their captain,” said Guardiola.
David Silva led City on Wednesday as they came from behind to beat West Ham United 4-1 in a friendly in the Chinese city of Nanjing.
England international Raheem Sterling, who enjoyed his best season last year for club and country, scored a brace in the second half as West Ham’s defence went AWOL.
West Ham took the lead with a Mark Noble penalty before City levelled through Silva, then Lukas Nmecha scored from the spot to give Guardiola’s side the half-time lead.
“We were lucky to go 2-1 in front,” said Guardiola, bemoaning the sticky conditions in Nanjing and City’s late arrival in China following a two-day delay because of a paperwork issue related to their flight.
Guardiola fielded a mixture of first-team regulars and youngsters with Kevin De Bruyne, who missed most of last season injured, a second-half substitute.
He was joined after the break by German winger Leroy Sane, who has been linked with a big-money move to Bayern Munich.
Spanish international midfielder Rodri, who joined City earlier this month on a five-year deal from Atletico Madrid, made his debut.