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Sane: It’s a lot of fun to work with Guardiola

THRIVING: Leroy Sane says Pep Guardiola has improved every aspect of his game

THRIVING: Leroy Sane says Pep Guardiola has improved every aspect of his game

International breaks provide the ideal time to reflect on the season so far, and Man City players are doing just that.

This morning, the headlines are packed with comment and opinion regarding the impact Pep Guardiola has made – and the boys in Blue have been impressed.

Leroy Sane believes his new manager has had a positive influence on every aspect of his game.

As Peter McVitie of Goal explains: “The 21-year-old winger earned a move to the Etihad Stadium ahead of the 2016-17 season after emerging as a promising young player at Schalke.

“Sane's role in the first-team at the start of the season was limited by injuries and he was used mainly from the bench until gaining a regular spot in Guardiola's starting XI towards the end of January.

“Now, with seven goals in 26 appearances in all competitions, the attacker is enjoying working with a coach who has helped him improve a great deal.”

Sane declared: "It is a lot of fun to work with him. He expects a lot from me.

“But that helps every single player move forward. He has improved me in all areas.

"I want to prove myself now and show that I would like to be part of the national team all the time.

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"I definitely took a step forward and developed."

Meanwhile, Pablo Zabaleta has been echoing Sane’s sentiments, describing Guardiola’s preparation as ‘fantastic’.

Quoted in a piece by SportsMole, the Argentine defender revealed: “His passion is to try always to improve, or to try to find the right way to attack.

"He's always trying to improve the players and to improve the team.

“He likes to play out from the back and for the player on the ball to have two or three options. He likes always to give you solutions and information.

“The way he prepares for games is just fantastic."

Elsewhere, there is more praise for Raheem Sterling, following his impressive display for England against Lithuania.

Writing for ESPN, Jonathan Smith scribes: “In Sunday's 2-0 win, England were struggling to break down a defensive and well-organised Lithuania when Sterling displayed his confidence and skill to create the opener and change the course of the World Cup qualifier.

“It was simple enough - Sterling jinked past Egidijus Vaitkunas, darted into the box and pulled the ball back for Jermain Defoe to easily score. But it was a moment of individuality that England had desperately been lacking for the previous 20 minutes.

“While it was a long way from being Sterling's best performance of the season, as he struggled through the pain of a back injury, that moment was enough to show why he should be a big part of his country's future, just as he has proven for his club.

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“The 22-year-old is instrumental to Guardiola's attacking philosophy. With Sane on the left flank, City stretch the pitch as wide as possible. The wingers try to isolate full-backs - knowing they can beat opponents with their pace or skill - and offer a goal threat by cutting inside.

“In total, Sterling has directly contributed to 17 goals this season - scoring nine and adding another eight assists -- and City haven't won any of the last seven games in which he's been missing. Indeed, in the last two matches when Sterling has been rested -- Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup and Stoke City in the Premier League - Guardiola's team have not scored, the only two times it has happened this year.”

Finally, as always there’s a snippet of transfer gossip. Today’s tale is told by the Express, who claim City are one of five clubs targeting a Brazilian wonderkid, Vinicius Junior.

Uche Amako reports: “The 16-year-old has grabbed the attention of Europe’s top teams after scoring 17 goals in 18 appearances for Brazil's Under-17 side.

“The Flamengo youngster has a contract until July 2019 and the club are desperate to keep hold of him.

“But according to Sport Witness, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City have all made approaches for the Vinicius.

“City signed Gabriel Jesus from Palmeiras and he made an immediate impact with three goals in four games before suffering a broken metatarsal last month.

“It’s thought the teenager could cost as much as £26million but he will only leave his homeland once he turns 18.

“Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona have also been linked with Vinicius.”

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