Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted he felt for former goalkeeper Joe Hart after ending his decorated City career.
The England number one returns to the Etihad with Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday two months after formally ending his time at City after loan spells at Torino and West Ham.
Hart won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and two League Cups during his time with City before Guardiola took charge in July 2016.
“During his 12 years with the club, Joe not only produced some incredible individual displays, but also celebrated great success as a member of the club’s most decorated team in decades,” said City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak in a statement.
Guardiola’s wish for a goalkeeper more comfortable with the ball at his feet firstly saw Claudio Bravo and then Ederson arrive at the club in the Catalan’s first two seasons in charge.
Although criticised at first, Guardiola’s decision has been proved right as Hart struggled at Torino and West Ham, but has looked back to his best this season at Turf Moor.
“I’ve made in my career good decisions and very bad decisions,” said Guardiola on Friday. “You have to take the decision in the right moment at the right time.
“All the managers have to take decisions every five minutes. They’re important sometimes. It’s not about just the football, it’s about the professionals and the human beings. It’s not easy. But it is what it is.”