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With the majority of Pep Guardiola’s squad still enjoying summer breaks, following their World Cup exploits, the Catalan manager selected a team, mainly composed of Elite Development Squad and Academy players, to feature in the International Champions Cup tournament in Chicago, New York and Miami.
City’s three games heralded several debuts for our teenage starlets (against top quality opposition in Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and Bayern Munich), plus valuable minutes for those who broke through into the senior squad last season, such as Diaz, Phil Foden and Lukas Nmecha.
With the revelation that City may not have all of our World Cup stars back and in contention for Sunday’s Community Shield clash against Chelsea – and perhaps even the opening Premier League encounter at Arsenal – the Blues’ youngsters may again be given the chance to shine, and Diaz says he will be ready.
GALLERY: Bayern Munich v City
"That's what we try to do every day – train hard so that one day we can play,” he stated.
“It's amazing to be here with a club like this so we will see what happens.”
Reflecting on the pre-season trip, Diaz, who produced an eye-catching display in Saturday night’s stunning comeback victory over Bayern, added the experience has instilled confidence and treasured knowledge for the inspired City starlets, who now hope to take their lessons into the new campaign.
“It’s been good,” he reflected. “We can go on from this and do more.
“It’s a team that hasn’t played much together so to play against big clubs like that is a sign that we can do it.
“Pep said it’s been a great experience for us and he knows best. Working with him, you learn from him every day. The young players can really benefit from that.
“It’s been an amazing experience.”
Stockport-born City fan Foden also earned deserved praise for his Man of the Match performance against Guardiola’s former employers, with the Catalan boss dubbing the midfielder’s display ‘outstanding’.
Diaz expressed his delight for his fellow 18-year-old, describing their close relationship, as the pair progressed through the City ranks together.
“He’s been a brilliant player but also as a person, I like him so much,” he declared.
“As for me, from the first game, I feel like I’ve been improving a lot. We have been doing really well.
“Everyone deserves to have good things said about them.”
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