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Pep: Ederson and De Bruyne amongst world’s best

BOSS: Pep Guardiola praises Ederson and KDB.

BOSS: Pep Guardiola praises Ederson and KDB.

Pep Guardiola says Ederson and Kevin De Bruyne are on par with the best players in the world.

The Manchester City boss has heaped praise on the duo, acknowledging how fortunate he is to have such quality at his disposal.

Despite his tender years, Guardiola believes the Brazilian shot-stopper is already operating at a level which places him firmly amongst the world’s top ‘keepers, while in De Bruyne, he says he is working with one of the most talented players in the game today.

There’s much more to the Belgian’s game than spectacular goals and defence splitting passes, however, and Guardiola declared the 26-year-old, who has covered 288km in the Premier League this season, sets himself apart with his industrious work-rate.

“I don’t have words to express my gratitude,” Pep said, when asked about De Bruyne’s efforts.

“One of the best players we have, no doubt about that, is the guy who runs the most and fights the most.

“He is an incredible example for the rest of the players and for the Academy.

“He is one of the most talented players I have ever seen in my life and without the ball he makes this kind of intensity that we have every three days.”

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And the Catalan was equally as effusive about his keeper, echoing the plaudits bestowed on Ederson by Burnley boss, Sean Dyche, who compared his calmness to Barcelona and Netherland’s legend, Ronald Koeman.

Undoubtedly pleased to have a custodian capable of setting up attacks, Pep was also quick to point out the quality of Ederson’s goalkeeping, which he believes rivals anyone.

“He is one of the top [‘keepers],” explained the City boss.

“With his age and his desire to improve he will become an extraordinary goalkeeper.

“The most important thing is he is so calm. When he concedes a goal he is quiet and when he make an extraordinary save he is quiet. His reaction is the same. He is so stable.

“But he is young and has to improve a lot of things, but he is, for me, already one of the best in the world and in the future he will be strong.”

Meanwhile, Guardiola also offered a further explanation as to why only six substitutes were selected for the 1-1 draw with Burnley.

The boss had already revealed it was due to injuries to first team players and he admitted short notice prevented him from taking a player from Simon Davies’ Elite Development Squad.

“It was the first time in my life [I have done that].

“All the player were injured. John Stones wasn’t fit. David [Silva] wasn’t fit.

“He trained with us the day before at four in the afternoon and during that session he said he wasn’t ready.

“The second team had a game in an hour and half so I was not prepared to call the manager and say one or two hours before that I needed a player for the bench.

“If the training session had been at 10 in the morning I would have done it, but it is not a big issue.”

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