John Guidetti is on the final steps of his road to recovery after a nerve problem prematurely ended his loan spell with Feyenoord and side-lined him for the start of this season.
The Swedish striker has been working his back to fitness for almost seven months and is closing on a return to full training after a frustrating spell that cost him a place in Euro 2012.
Still only 20, Guidetti was rewarded with a new three-year deal recently, and can’t wait to start playing football again.
With 20 goals in 21 starts for Feyenoord last season, he is perfectly placed to comment on tonight’s opponents, Ajax.
“I went back to the De Kuip for the 2-2 draw with Ajax recently and it was a great experience. The two teams are fierce rivals. Ajax are a good team, there’s no mistake about that, but I’m not sure why we lost 3-1 in Amsterdam. I think Ajax will have a tough time at the Etihad Stadium because we have such a strong squad and play so well at home.
“It won’t be a walk in the park, but with our fans behind us, we should be able to get our Champions League campaign off and running.”
Guidetti is not surprisingly a big fan of Dutch football and Feyenoord in particular.
“Feyenoord is a great club for young players to go and develop their game and I couldn’t recommend them highly enough,” he ventured.
I’d like to thank City for letting me go on loan there last season and I keep in touch with their progress
“Omar Elabdellaoui is on loan there this season and he’s doing really well. It takes time to adapt and find your feet and it’s not easy to just start playing in front of 52,000 fans every home game, so he’s settling in and doing good things.”
Guidetti accepts he would not be flavour of the month if were in action this evening – particularly given his excellent record against Ajax!
“I scored three goals against them last season so it’s a shame I can’t take part tonight, but I’m not sure the Ajax fans like me very much because of that reason – in fact that’s probably an understatement!” he smiled.
So does Guidetti believe people underestimate the standard of Dutch football?
“Well if they did, they shouldn’t because Ajax beat the champions of England,” he said.
Read the full exclusive interview in tonight’s match-day programme and watch out for #askGuidetti which is coming soon to citytv.