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Hart will be ‘having a giggle’ at Guardiola’s struggles to replace him, claims England predecessor Seaman

Date Posted,June 4, 2017

Joe Hart will be “having a ­little giggle” at Pep Guardiola’s struggle to replace him at Manchester City .

That’s the view of former ­England keeper David Seaman, who believes their exiled current No.1 Hart should return to the Premier League with his season’s loan at Torino at an end.

Guardiola’s move for Benfica keeper Ederson – for an eye-watering £35million – means the Spaniard will have spent over £50m in less than a year on replacing Hart, who was a key player in City’s two Premier League title wins.

Claudio Bravo , brought in from Barcelona last August for £18m, has flopped in English football, and the ­pressure will be on Ederson following the move set to make him the most expensive keeper in the world.

Chile international Bravo heard plenty of criticism as he struggled in the City goal (Photo: AFP)

Hart, 30, will retain his place as England’s ­first-choice for the Three Lions’ World Cup clash against Scotland on ­Saturday.

Seaman said: “Joe will be having a right little ­giggle to himself. As much as he loved City, when somebody says you are no longer ­required at the club, it is a massive blow.

“It’s almost like when I was turned down by Leeds [as a teenager]. I was told I wasn’t good enough. It was a long time ago, but it’s the same thing. Somebody is saying, ‘No, I don’t want that’.

“That’s why I’m so glad that Joe has gone and done what he has done. I bet he looks back and watches City and has a right little giggle.”

Pep Guardiola talks to goalkeeper Joe Hart during a training session
Guardiola quickly decided Hart wasn’t a good enough footballer to play for him… (Photo: PA Wire)
Joe Hart walks to the bench behind Pep Guardiola
…and after being dropped to No2 early in the season, he was farmed out to Torino (Photo: Reuters)

Seaman spent the 2003-04 season at City after his 13-year spell at Arsenal ended.

During his time as No.1 in north London, he also became England’s first choice keeper and sees no one capable yet of challenging Hart’s Three Lions status.

He said “Joe has done it. He has had all these guys ­coming up. All these keepers that keep getting mentioned, they’ve not tried it yet.

“They’ve done well at places like Sunderland or West Brom. That’s not the same as playing at City, Arsenal, United or Chelsea. It is one level, then another level, then it is England, then it’s a World Cup. There are so many levels. ­Champions League is in there as well.

“They haven’t done that like Joe has.

England interim manager Gareth Southgate with Joe Hart during training
England manager Southgate has stayed loyal to Hart during his season in Italy (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)

“Don’t forget, Joe reacts really well from making big mistakes as well, which is exactly what I look for in a goalkeeper.”

Asked whether Hart should join a club such as Arsenal, Seaman said: “I don’t think it’s the right time. If Joe wants to come and battle it out with Petr Cech then, yeah, why not? It would be a good competition.

“But I think Joe, if he does come back, would want to be No.1. I don’t think that will happen at Arsenal.”

Since making his Torino debut last September, Hart has conceded 58 goals. Only Pescara’s Albano Bizzarri shipped more in Serie A over the same period.

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There have been suggestions Hart should remain in Italy instead of ­coming back to the punishing ­spotlight of English football.

But Seaman added: “If I was him, I would want to come back.

“It’s a great league and it’s a pressure league as well. Out there, you can hide a little bit, and you don’t see all the mistakes or all the saves. But the quality that Joe Hart has got, he should be in the Premier League.”

* Seaman was speaking as he launched SpottoCash, the Spot The Ball game for the digital generation.

Visit the SpottoCash website

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