Manchester City will be without defender Kyle Walker in their next three Champions League games after their appeal against the red card which he received in their group stage tie against Red Bull Leipzig was not accepted.
The defenders kicked out at RB Leipzig forward Andre Silva in their 2-1 defeat away to the Germans on December 7th.
Walker has already missed the first three games for which was banned, which was Manchester City’s 5-0 drubbing of Sporting Lisbon in Portugal. Following the upholding of the red card by UEFA, Walker will miss the second leg of the tie and the first leg of a potential quarter-final for Manchester City.
City took the decision in good faith, hence Walker missing out on the drubbing of Sporting Lisbon. The Premier League champions decided to appeal after investigations revealed that there was a possibility of getting the ban overturned.
UEFA however, threw their appeal out and released a statement which read: “The appeal lodged by Manchester City FC is dismissed. Consequently, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body’s decision of 25 January 2022 is upheld.
“The CEDB had decided to suspend Manchester City FC player, Mr. Kyle Andrew Walker, for the next three (3) UEFA club competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible, for assaulting another player.”
Walker’s absence will be a big miss for Manchester City who have only João Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko as fullback options. Cancelo can play on either wing but Pep Guardiola likes to use him from the left most of the time.
In the 5-0 drubbing of Sporting, centre-back John Stones played as starting right back and was substituted for Oleksandr Zinchenko who went to take his spot at left back while starting left-back Cancelo moved over to the right.
Disciplinarian Guardiola may further punish Kyle Walker for his indiscretion in receiving the Red card at Leipzig in the Champions League.
Guardiola was really unhappy at the red card and expressed his frustrations after the match in December to journalists in his post-match comments.
“The red card hurts us, especially for the round of 16,” Guardiola said following December’s match in Germany.
“Walker is an important player for us and is unnecessary to lose him like this. I hope he learns from this.”
With Guardiola’s track record of disciplining his players, Walker may not come back straight back into the starting XI if Manchester City manage to progress into the quarter-finals.
Their qualification, however, is all but secured as Sporting will be visiting the Etihad in a few weeks time to try to overturn a 5-0 deficit and win themselves a place in the quarter-finals over Guardiola’s rampaging Citizens.
Elsewhere, Guardiola has revealed that City tried to buy Harry Kane on four occasions in the summer and had all their bids rejected by Tottenham Hotspur.
The Spanish tactician revealed this in their pre-match press conference as they prepare to welcome Kane and Spurs to the Etihad in the Premier League.
Guardiola said he was not sure about his squad ahead of the season and eventually decided to work with what he had.
“Now you can say ‘Harry Kane didn’t come and everything is going well’ but at the time I didn’t know it,” said Guardiola.
“We tried but Tottenham were clear that it was not going to happen.
“When that happens two, three, four times, it’s over.
“After that we saw the squad and we were not sure. We then lost at Spurs and against Leicester in the Community Shield.
“I never was disappointed in what the club cannot do in the transfer market. I’ve never created a fire here. When we have some talks and we cannot agree, we do it internally.”
Harry Kane has made no secret of his desire to work under Guardiola in the past. However following the transfer saga, he may have lost his chance of playing for Manchester City as the Premier League leaders have secured the services of young River plate forward Julian Alvarez who will join them in the summer.