‘Intelligent’ Stones ready to make debut – Guardiola

Date published: Friday 12th August 2016 2:12

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says new signing John Stones is fit and raring to go ahead of their Premier League opener against Sunderland.

Stones became Guardiola’s eighth signing on Tuesday when he signed for the Citizens for £47.5million from Everton, making him the world’s second most expensive defender.

Guardiola believes Stones will bring “intelligence” and “ability” to his backline, while the Spaniard also revealed that another new signing, Leroy Sane, will miss the first game of the season.

“Finally we could pick Stones up and it’s important for us to have a young, English player with a huge talent. Not just to defend but for the build-up, his intelligence and the ability to play through the lines. He’s a good, good player,” Guardiola told reporters.

“He’s fit – he played four, five, six friendly games with Ronald Koeman at Everton. Sane didn’t train with us, he’s out – in the next week I think he’ll start to train.

“Stones has had a lack of time with his teammates but he reads the game so there are people who are intelligent. He reads what’s going on and what he needs to do – I think he’s ready.”

Nicolas Otamendi could also be a key part of Guardiola’s team this season but he might choose to rest the Argentina international against Sunderland as he still isn’t 100 per cent fit.

“Nicolas is much, much better – he had a problem with his tendon. He will be fit but we have a little, little eye on the game in Romania so we’ll see tomorrow whether he’ll play against Sunderland.

“I know 80/90% who’s going to play tomorrow but I’ll sleep on it. It’s almost done – not quite 100%, I need my dreams to make the right decision.”

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