Nedum Onuoha has agreed a new five-year contract and immediately admitted he will have to improve again this season if he is to nail down a place in the Blues first team.
Competition for places in Mark Hughes’ side is strong but 22-year-old Academy graduate Onuoha who finished last season in a blaze of glory is ready for the challenge.
“I am really, really happy,” he declared. “This is a great place for any young player to be. Hopefully it will be the start of another good five years for me and for the club. This is a season that we will be looking right towards the top of the table.
“Who knows how far the club can go. If you look back five years who would have expected the club to be in the position it is in now. We feel anything is possible.
“There is a brilliant mix here in terms of the squad. There are a lot of big signings that have been made but there are also plenty of lads who have come through the Academy and I think that is an important thing.
“We all have a lot more experience now and I think we are the type of players teams need to be successful. If you look at the recent history of the clubs that have won trophies they have all had a home grown element.”
Despite the new deal that finally puts an end to the erroneous talk linking him with a move away from City, Onuoha is taking nothing for granted in terms of selection.
“I was pleased by the way I played towards the end of last season but at the same time I don’t think that level of form will be good enough to get me into the side this time around,” he reckoned.
“Unless you are continuously improving you shouldn’t expect to be in the team. I want to improve on last season and I am raring to go.”
That is music to the ears of boss Mark Hughes who has always emphasised the importance of having a nucleus of first team players who have come through the ranks and who have the Blues in their hearts.
“Nedum is a very important part of my future plans for the team, and I am very pleased he has decided to extend his contract with us. Despite his tender years he has already matured into a very good defender who has made a significant impact on the first team,” he stressed.
“Nedum has huge potential for the future and is another shining example of the kind of quality our academy can produce for Manchester City football club.”