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What the Media Says

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Xavi gives Pep insight

WHAT THE MEDIA SAYS: Our round-up of football gossip.

WHAT THE MEDIA SAYS: Our round-up of football gossip.

With the start of the new Premier League season drawing ever nearer, experts from around the world are predicting how City will fare this season.

Experts on Pep Guardiola’s football don’t come much bigger than former Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernandez. The 36-year-old has been speaking about what City fans can expect during the reign of the Catalan, who he won two Champions League titles with at the Nou Camp.

Writing in the Guardian, the Spaniard, now playing for Qatari club Al Sadd, said: “He’s a perfectionist. He’s obsessive; I knew he would keep going until he got it right.

“If Pep decided to be a musician, he would be a good musician. If he wanted to be a psychologist, he would be a good psychologist. Football is his passion.

“He loves football and a particular way of playing it. He really hated losing the ball, even as a player. It is not enough just to have those ideals: you have to be able to communicate them too.

“There may be other coaches who share similar beliefs but are weaker and can’t transmit them. Guardiola can. He has the leadership, the personality.”

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Elsewhere, the arrival of both Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan at City is great news for the Premier League, according to Arsenal and Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil.

Reported by James Benge in the Evening Standard, Ozil said: “I am particularly pleased at City, where two of my team-mates from the German team, Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan, are playing. They bring both a great quality and the Premier League will be even better for it.

“All the clubs have invested heavily, not only on world-class players, but also on world-class coaches who have been brought into the league.”

Finally, former England stalwart Martin Keown has been discussing City’s signing of fellow defender John Stones.

Writing in the Daily Mail, he said: “Anyone who is English should look at this deal and hope John Stones is a success at Manchester City. He can be an England centre back for the next 12 years.

“If he was in my stable, I would work on his strengths — his ability to create, pass, keep the ball — but also have a quiet word about the other side, areas he needs to improve on.

“This move could be the making of him — Guardiola is not looking at what he cannot do; he is looking at what he can do.

“I really hope we are writing more about him for the quality of his play and his success. Every Englishman should wish him well.”

That’s all for today’s round-up of the City-centric gossip. Keep your eye on mancity.com and @ManCity throughout the day for the latest news as it happens.

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