Instead of joining FC Bayern in the summer, Kyle Walker has extended his contract at Manchester City. The Englishman will remain with the Skyblues until 2026
The extension of the England international (78 games for the Three Lions), who was an expressed desire of FCB coach Thomas Tuchel, was announced by ManCity on Thursday. At the English triple winners, Kyle Walker still had a contract until 2024, now the Skyblues decided to extend the contract early.
“I am thrilled to sign a new contract. My future is with Manchester City and this is the best thing for me,” Walker is quoted as saying in a club statement. “I will never forget the season we won the treble and we are ready to start again and try to win more trophies. I’m happy to stay at a club that fights for trophies every year and I can’t wait to see what the next years bring.”
FC Bayern had courted the full-back fiercely in the past transfer window, and the Englishman is said to have even given the German record champions a verbal commitment. However, ManCity and especially coach Pep Guardiola did not want to let Walker go, Guardiola even made him captain in the absence of the injured Kevin De Bruyne. In the end, Walker turned down FC Bayern at the beginning of August and has now extended his contract at presumably much better pay.
Walker is only one of three players in Premier League history to have played more than 100 games for two clubs. Specifically, 208 games (four goals) for Tottenham between 2011 and 2017 and 216 games (four goals) for Manchester City since 2017, which speaks to consistency at the highest level. He is also City’s best in terms of passing quality and ball-winning in defence.
But one number stands out more than any other: 37.31 km/h. This is the speed at which the 33-year-old was flashed last season, making him the fastest professional in the Premier League, which is certainly not slow. The Sheffield man is a sprinter, or as Guardiola says: “He will still be the fastest at 63. “
Ten titles and set under Guardiola
Walker is the epitome of a right-back, he loves the position and fills it perfectly. He was set at right-back under City coach Guardiola, with whom he won ten titles in their six years together. “Since he’s been here, he’s consistently delivered top performances,” praises his long-time teammate De Bruyne, “and that’s just because he’s good. “