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City's squad depth will be key, says Otamendi

SQUAD GOALS: Nicolas Otamendi says City's strength in depth could prove vital over the course of a long season

SQUAD GOALS: Nicolas Otamendi says City's strength in depth could prove vital over the course of a long season

Nicolas Otamendi believes the strength in depth of Manchester City’s squad and fierce competition for places will only aid the club’s quest for success this season.

After playing a key role in City’s record-breaking 2017/18 campaign, where he helped the club to both Premier League and Carabao Cup glory, the central defender then figured in Argentina’s run to the last 16 at this summer's World Cup finals.

However, so far this season Nico has had to be patient for first-team opportunities with fellow central defenders Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Vincent Kompany also vying for selection in Pep Guardiola's first eleven.

But with the defending champions currently leading the Premier League, and also targeting success in the Champions League, Carabao Cup and FA Cup, the 29-year-old says that strong competition for places will only help City in what could well be another marathon campaign.

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Said Otamendi: “There’s been some signings and there are some youngsters who are fitting in well. It’s a squad where anyone could be in the starting eleven.

“It’s true I couldn’t play in the first five games, but Pep takes those decisions and we have to do our best to be ready.

“I’ve been playing more lately, but I think it will be a long season, with some healthy competition within the team.

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“We all want to play. Individually, I’ll try to always give my best to be in the starting eleven.”

Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Otamendi said that he and his colleagues were relishing the challenge of trying to defend our Premier League crown – a feat no club has achieved for a decade.

The General also revealed that City were keen to sustain a strong challenge for the Champions League this season and improve on last term's run to the quarter-finals.

Otamendi added: “The challenge this season will be to defend the title, that’s very important for us. But we aim for more.

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“We aim to compete in every tournament. We have to focus on winning the next game and trying to go as far as possible.

"As for the Champions League, we aim to go as far as possible. Then destiny will tell if we are there to win it or not. We’ll try to go as far as possible and win it.

“Obviously, the Champions League is the trophy every player wishes, but we must not leave aside the other competitions. Individually, I think the Champions League is an important challenge, as well as defending the Premier League title.”

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