Joe Hart has been at Manchester City for ten years, and during that time he has won two Premier League trophies, two Capital One Cups, one FA Cup and one Charity Shield.
He has put in some stellar performances over the years, especially in the Champions League. Under the new regime though, Willy Caballero is preferred, and there are strong rumours suggesting that Claudio Bravo is on his way to the Etihad.
Is Joe Hart set to leave City?
The reason Hart was dropped by Pep is because the England international is not the best with the ball at his feet and he is not regarded as a modern day ‘footballing goalkeeper’, such as Bravo or Ter Stegen at Barcelona or Manuel Neuer, who he had at Bayern Munich.
In spite of this, Caballero’s display on Saturday against Sunderland and against Steaua Bucureșt showed that he isn’t massively better on the ball than Hart himself. His short distribution to the defenders wasn’t always accurate and his long kicking often went out for a throw in.
His past displays against Arsenal, Hull and Tottenham in years gone by have shown that he is nowhere near as good a goalkeeper as Hart, which leads to questions of what is next for the England international.
City were linked with Barcelona goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen earlier in the summer, and with those rumours dying down, it looks like Caballero will be Pep’s first choice goalkeeper going in to the new season, if Claudio Bravo does not arrive at the club.
Caballero has struggled to impress at City in previous seasons.
The decision to drop Hart has left a lot of City fans in disarray, as the Englishman is one of the best goalkeepers in the world on his day. He is City’s longest serving player, it is obvious how much the club means to him and he always shows how much passion he has for the club.
It must be remembered though, that he has been in a similar situation before. After a poor end to the 2012/13 campaign and a poor start to the 2013/14 season, Manuel Pellegrini dropped Hart for Costel Pantillimon, and as a result of that Hart worked harder to return to the side, and arguably became a better goalkeeper from it.
From there on Hart was pivotal component in City winning the league that season, and the year after he went on to pick up his fourth Golden Glove award. In 2016, Arsenal’s Petr Cech tied Joe Hart to become only the second goalkeeper to reach four Golden Gloves.
Both Petr Cech and Joe Hart share the record for the most Golden Gloves in the Premier League.
One of the biggest questions is that if Joe Hart does’t regain his place in the first team, where will we go and who would buy him.
If you look around the top teams in England, they all have top draw ‘keepers, so it is unlikely one of those would go in for Joe Hart. The City ‘keeper may have to look abroad to Spain to teams such as Sevilla or Valencia who are teams pushing for the Champions League to revitalise his career.
Germany would be a tricky option, with Bayern not in need of another ‘keeper, there would not be many suitors for Hart. The only team that comes to mind who are of Champions League standard are Borussia Dortmund. After falling behind Bayern in the last few years, with goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller ageing, and Roman Bürki not overly convincing, Dortmund realistically would be the only good move for shot stopper.
The Italian and French leagues wouldn’t be a good move for him as both leagues are dominated by one team who both have recognised first team goalkeepers, and both leagues are of a poor standard. The problem with Hart moving abroad would be the language barriers in place, and adapting to living abroad and the style of football in the league.
It would be assumed that Hart would lose his place in the England team if he isn’t playing regularly for City. This would then leave even more questions regarding Harts future with the national team and it would put more pressure on him to leave City for first-team football and regain his place in the national team. Many pundits feel Hart should stay at City and fight for his place under Guardiola, as it will be hard for him to find a club abroad or in the Premier League.
This article was written by Ben Tipper – @mcfccentral / @bentippermcfc