Pablo Zabaleta praised Leroy Sane after the German winger scored his first Manchester City goal in the 2-1 win over Arsenal on Sunday.
City found themselves a goal behind after just five minutes against the North London side – but a stirring fightback saw the Blues earn three vital points that moved them up to second in the Premier League table.
Sane got City’s equaliser, a fine first-time finish after David Silva’s wonderful ball into his path, and delivered an impressive all-round display before being replaced by Jesus Navas with 15 minutes of the game left.
Zabaleta says the 20-year-old’s technical quality is clear and believes he just needs time to fully adapt to the rigours of Premier League football before he produces even better performances.
“He’s young,” Zabaleta said. “He’s got a lot of things to improve. [He’s in] a new league where you have to settle in and sometimes for some players it takes more time than it does for others.
“But we are 100 percent sure about his quality and what he can give to this team. I am so proud for him. He has played a great game today, so congratulations to him.”
City were far superior to Arsenal for much of the game, particularly in the second-half where they moved the ball quickly and pressed the visitors out of their stride.
Zabaleta, who was quick to praise the quality of City’s attacking players, says he was impressed with the way his team reacted to going a goal behind.
“The second half was really good – but I think we were dominant the whole game, apart from maybe one or two counter-attacks that we concede.
“We were a team that reacted really well after the goal that we conceded early in the game. We kept going forward to try to equalise and we made a few chances.
“Then in the second half we were a lot better than them and were on top of them throughout the whole 45 minutes. Probably we should have had scored a few more goals if we’d been more clinical.
"We know the quality we have up front. We’ve got players that can make the difference. That’s why as a team, defensively, we need to be solid and give confidence to the creative players.
“They will create chances by themselves and of course, they can score goals. We have seen a really good team in the last two games and hopefully we can continue in that way.”