The Belgium international will have plenty of new faces alongside him in defence this year after Pep Guardiola spent big on reinforcements
Vincent Kompany has welcomed Manchester City’s new full-back cohort to the club, and advised they could learn a lot from the last generation as they settle in at the Etihad Stadium.
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Pep Guardiola made strengthening the defensive flanks a priority during this transfer window after a mixed debut season in the Premier League.
His efforts to land Dani Alves may have been thwarted, but City nevertheless sealed the signings of Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker and Danilo in a bold statement of intent from the manager.
Long-serving stalwarts Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Aleksandar Kolarov have in turn moved on, but Kompany believes their influence can inspire the new faces.
“Bacary, Zaba, Clichy, Kolarov — they were all leaders and had a huge impact at this club,” the captain told reporters at a City community event at the East LA Boys and Girls’ Club, where several high-profile players took part in skills events and unveiled a new mural.
“Look at Zaba, what made him so popular, the way he was. Look at that when you come into a club like this. If you can bring some of that to your game, the way you approach the game, then you’ll always be a success at City.
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“We’ve replaced some key players in the team that did a lot of good over the years. But the important thing was replacing them with players of equal ability at least — because they’ve been big players for us down the years.
“It’s good to get some new guys, new faces, who are hungry to win. Everything is there to be achieved for them. But hopefully they will add that spark that we need to be the champions again.”
Kompany enters his 10th season with the Citizens, after suffering a frustrating 2016-17 campaign curtailed by injury.
The Belgian, however, is looking forward to a new year and is determined to help City’s newcomers find their way on the pitch.
“Pre-season has been good. I think we are getting what we need to get out of it. We’re having a lot of hours of training and some of the guys are already looking sharp,” he said.
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“The most important thing is the first game in the Premier League, but if in the meantime we can build it up into some good performances it’ll be good for us.”
“Speaking for myself, I’m someone who communicates a lot. I don’t really wait for it to happen, I get out there and pass on the message I think is the most appropriate when I’m on the pitch.
“I’d do that to anyone I’m playing with so hopefully that will help them find their feet a bit quicker. They are good professionals so you’d expect them to blend in well.”
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