Man City confirm new captains group after Ilkay Gundogan exit
Kyle Walker is set to continue wearing the captain's armband for Manchester City for the foreseeable future following the squad's annual vote on its five-strong leadership group.
Ilkay Gundogan was City captain last season, lifting the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League trophies in the final weeks of an historic treble-winning campaign for the club.
But the German midfielder's summer departure to Barcelona left a space in the group of five captains – it is a practice carried over from Barcelona, where Pep Guardiola learned his trade.
Kevin De Bruyne wore the City armband for the opening Premier League game against Burnley, which saw him limp off the pitch inside 25 minutes. The Belgian is not expected back until 2024. Walker has been skipper for every other game, including the Community Shield and the UEFA Super Cup.
With the transfer window closed and the September international break out of the way, the annual vote among the players has taken place. Walker, De Bruyne, Rodri and Ruben Dias were all part of last season's captains group alongside Gundogan, with Bernardo Silva now granted the fifth place.
"The captains vote has come and the five have been chosen and we will lead the team for the season and make sure everyone is in check and the fines are paid up," Walker joked at a Champions League press conference on Monday.
"The order doesn't matter. It will be myself, Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri, Ruben and Bernardo. It is something I've been very honoured to do and it's a privilege to lead this special group out. I will continue to do that. Hopefully, I will lead by example on and off the field to make sure we collect the trophies at the end of the season."
Although Walker stated that the order is not important, it stands to reason that he will keep wearing the armband and leading the team out for each game, having been doing so already.