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Media watch: Pundits hail Pep's City slickers

WEMBLEY WIZARDS: Manchester City opened the season in fine style with an impressive 2-0 Community Shield win over Chelsea

WEMBLEY WIZARDS: Manchester City opened the season in fine style with an impressive 2-0 Community Shield win over Chelsea

Manchester City’s impressive 2-0 Community Shield victory over Chelsea at Wembley dominates the morning headlines – and, not surprisingly, there is no shortage of praise for Pep Guardiola’s men.

Pundits and reporters were unanimous in saluting City both collectively and individually after Sergio Aguero’s brace secured the first silverware of the season.

And the contributions of City’s all-time leading scorer – and young teenage colleague Phil Foden – were amongst those to be highlighted.

Rio Ferdinand was amongst the chorus of figures to praise the predatory instincts of Kun, whose Wembley double saw him go past 200 career goals for City.

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And speaking on BT Sport, the former England and Manchester United defender said he had no doubt Aguero remained the pre-eminent striker operating in the English game. 

“Getting 200 league goals for Manchester City is a phenomenal amount, and I think he is the best striker in the Premier League, he was the hardest I played against, fantastic movement, pace and awareness,' said Ferdinand.

“I would take him over Harry Kane. In terms of someone who is hard to play against, he brings so much off both feet, and with his movement and pace he offers all sorts of problems.  

“Kane is a great player, but Aguero just takes it.'

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Meanwhile Matt Law reported on how City boss Pep Guardiola had been left hugely impressed and excited by the condition Aguero reported back in after his World Cup exertions with Argentina.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Law reported how the City manager also believes Sunday’s lethal display augurs well as City prepare for the start of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign.

Law wrote: “We were really impressed when Sergio arrived,” said Guardiola. “He arrived so sharp, so good.

“I think at the end of last season, the knee operation. He suffered the previous years with a little bit of a problem and Ramon Cugat the best doctor in the world made the perfect surgery and now he feels free.

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“I think it's good news for us for the season. He scored two goals, produced chances, he could have scored three or four or five. That is good. Him with Gabriel (Jesus), we have, in that position, good options.”

Former England striker Chris Sutton meanwhile was just one of many to have been impressed by Foden’s assured display on the big stage.

The 18-year-old provided a superb assist for Aguero’s opening goal and again demonstrated his vision, awareness and comfort on the ball.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Sutton – who is also a regular pundit on BBC Sport and BT Sport – was effusive in his praise for the Stockport-born lifelong Blue.

Sutton wrote: “Sergio Aguero was his usual ruthless self. He scored both goals and could have had more, but there was one other player who really caught my eye and that was Foden.

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"The England Under 17 World Cup winner stood out with his vision, his passing, his awareness, his coolness. 

"This 18-year-old is turning into a man on the pitch and this season I hope we’ll see more of him in that sky blue shirt.

“Even if it is in competitions outside the Premier League, I hope Guardiola puts his faith in him. How could he not after a performance like this?

“Sure, Chelsea had players missing but Foden still did himself no harm.

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“City are already dominant in that central area of the pitch, but the teenager can now become an important player for Guardiola this season.”

Jacob Steinberg was another to be impressed by Foden’s Community Shield exploits and excited about the long-term portents for both club and country

Writing in The Guardian he reported: "It was difficult not to feel a surge of excitement as Foden set about demonstrating why Guardiola has called him 'a gift.'

“More than anything it was his poise that stood out. Foden exuded belief that he belonged in such illustrious company, displaying the kind of calmness on the ball and ability to break through the lines that will make Gareth Southgate go weak at the knees.

“If there was one quality that England missed in Russia this summer, it was a creator, a player who could have challenged Luka Modric when Croatia were dominating the manager’s midfield in Moscow.”

Finally, with transfer deadline day looming on Thursday, there is renewed speculation that City could yet bring in one more new player to reinforce the squad ahead of the start of the new Premier League campaign.

James Robson, reporting in the Manchester Evening News, was just one of a number to confirm that Guardiola was still keen to bolster his options.

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He wrote: “The City manager watched his Premier League champions pick up the season's first piece of silverware with a 2-0 win against Chelsea on Sunday - but is adamant he still needs to add to his squad.

“City have missed out on Fred and Jorginho in the last seven months as Guardiola tries to secure top class back-up for Fernandinho, with Julian Weigl, Mateo Kovacic, Mario Lemina, Thiago Alcantara and Marco Veratti all on his radar this summer.

“The Catalan is now hopeful director of football Txiki Begiristain can deliver before the window closes on August.

"We are trying," said Guardiola when asked about any further signings. "We would like to find maybe one more because we don't have two specific players to substitute Fernandinho.

"But if he doesn't come, there won't be anyone else."

Of course if there is any concrete news you will read it first here on mancity.com.


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