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Pep assures his players of game time

ROTATION: Guardiola says City he will rotate the squad heavily this season

ROTATION: Guardiola says City he will rotate the squad heavily this season

Pep Guardiola has assured his Manchester City players they will get plenty of game time this season.

The Catalan boss picked an array of attacking talent in his starting XI for the first game of the season at Brighton on Saturday and had a star-studded bench to fall back on.

And with the likes of Benjamin Mendy and Ilkay Gundogan set to return from injury in the coming weeks, Guardiola’s options are set to be bolstered further.

The vast quality in City’s squad has led to suggestions the manager will have unhappy players on his hands – but the he has rejected those claims and praised the diverse styles he has at his disposal, something he feels is vital over the course of a season. 

“There are a lot of games and everybody is going to play,” he said after City’s 2-0 opening-day win at the Amex Stadium.

“But if you want to play in a certain way, the way I like, with players on the ball, then you need talent. So, we need talent, to keep the ball, to know what you’ve got to do.

“Our midfield positions are ‘phwoar!’ Really good.

“We have Fernandinho, Gundogan is coming back, with Kevin [De Bruyne], with [David] Silva, with Raz [Raheem Sterling], who can play in that position. Phil Foden who was outstanding in pre-season. They all have such a lot of quality.

“I like players when they have the ball, they don’t lose the ball. I love that. And they keep it, they keep it well. All of them are going to play. Last season I rotated the team a lot and I will do that again.

“They will all be involved. After that it depends on them and if they accept my decision or not. If they don’t accept it, it will be their problem not mine.”

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Guardiola also found time to praise Kyle Walker after his superb display against Chris Hughton’s newly-promoted outfit.

Walker, making his Premier League debut for the Club, brought pace and energy to City’s right-hand side and was a constant attacking threat.

He was handed the man-of-the-match award by broadcasters BT Sport and Guardiola was clearly impressed.

“Kyle is physical, strong and of course helps us in defence,” he said.

“He’s a guy with Danilo and Mendy who is going to help us a lot.

“He’s started good because he knows John, Raz and all the English players and the players are a good team.

“The club is a strong club in terms of how they help the new guys settle in as quick as possible.”

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