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Guardiola doubted David Silva’s ability to succeed in the Premier League

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has acknowledged that he had doubts whether David Silva would succeed in the Premier League when he joined the Citizens from Valencia in the summer of 2010. The former Spain international had the choice of joining of some of the elite teams across Europe but he was tempted by the project presented by the Mancunian giants.

Since then, he has racked over 400 appearances for the side across all competitions and during this period, he has become one of the most important players in the club’s history. Speaking in a recent press conference, Guardiola admitted personally that he had concerns over the midfielder’s physique when he made the move to the Etihad Stadium.

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Atletico continue spending spree with signing of Mario Hermoso

Atletico Madrid have continued their spending spree for the summer with the recruit of defender Mario Hermos from Espanyol. The 24-year-old has been regarded as one of La Liga’s most consistent centre-backs in the past 18 months and he has now made the return to the Spanish capital, where he was previously in the ranks of Real Madrid.

Hermoso had a release clause worth £35m on his contract with Espanyol, but Atleti have managed to secure his signature for around £22m plus add-ons (£4m), considering he had just 12 months remaining on his contract. A statement from Atleti read: “We welcome an extraordinary player, who, despite his youth, has experience and a promising future. He arrives to make our squad stronger and we wish him all the best in this beautiful new challenge at Atletico de Madrid.”

Atleti have made their transfer intentions clear for the summer and they have already spent more than £220m to strengthen the squad. Aside from Hermoso, they have also landed the services of Kieran Trippier, Marcos Llorente, Joao Felix, Hector Herrera, Nicolas Ibanez and Ivan Saponjic, and manager Diego Simeone has the tricky task of getting the players into the groove ahead of next season.

Simeone’s side have struggled to compete for the Spanish league title since their triumph during the 2013/14 season and during this period, Barcelona have dominated the proceedings by winning four of the previous five crowns. Owing to this, it has become fundamental that a substantial amount of money needs to be spent to catch up with the Catalan giants and it remains to be seen whether Atleti can close the gap to the top next season.

Hermoso has made the switch to Atleti after two seasons at Espanyol where he managed 54 league appearances. During this period, he has been able to break into the Spain senior squad and it will be interesting to see whether he can establish himself with the national team on a permanent basis.

David Silva insists Manchester United have huge respect for Manchester City

Manchester City playmaker David Silva has said that Manchester United have huge respect for them considering the power shift over the past seven years. The Red Devils were the dominant force in England during the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson, but things have transformed thereafter with the Citizens stamping their authority with big-name signings.

Speaking on the club’s official website, Silva explained that the Citizens had plenty of respect for the Red Devils during his first season (2010-11) with the club. He added that club’s fortunes have since changed in the derbies and they are presently the team, who are earning the respect from their cross-town rivals amid the dominance.
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Cesar Azpilicueta heaps praise on Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s goal against Brighton

Spain international Cesar Azpilicueta has heaped praise on midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek after he contributed a goal and an assist in Chelsea’s 3-0 league triumph over Brighton & Hove Albion. The England international was handed a rare start for the Blues after bagging the winner in the previous game against Cardiff, and he made the most of the opportunity with a standout display for the west London giants.

>Speaking after the game, Azpilicueta was appreciative of the efforts of the midfielder, who has been impressed with the goal scoring prowess during the ongoing season, he said: “At the moment he is showing his quality. In the box he showed great determination to get the header and score a very important goal for us. He’s understanding the game better, when he has to drive with the ball, and he has unbelievable strength. He can push past defenders, get in the box, score goals, and he defends. He is a complete player.”
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Nacho Monreal speaks about Arsenal’s top-four prospects

Spain international Nacho Monreal has said that Arsenal are determined to make their Champions League comeback after making good progress under the guidance of Unai Emery. The north London side are currently occupying the fourth position in the league standings while making progress to the quarter final stage of the Europa League.

In a report covered by Sky Sports, Monreal admitted that the season has yet to reach its conclusion but the club are eager to clinch Champions League qualification for next term. He added that the club have two bites at the cherry with their form in both league and Europe, and hopefully, they can return to the elite competition after a two-year wait.
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Isco will have to fight for his place

Spain coach Luis Enrique has stated that Isco will have to fight for his place just like any other players. He said that Isco has struggled to get enough playing time at Real Madrid this season and this may impact his place in the team. He said that there is no guaranteed place in the Spain national team and that he will have to show what he can do for his club if he wants to get a place in the team.

Isco has been a regular player for the Spanish national team in recent years but he has enjoyed a difficult season so far with Real Madrid.
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Alvaro Morata pleased to make Madrid comeback with Atletico

Spain international Alvaro Morata has said that he is pleased to be making a comeback to La Liga with Atletico Madrid. The Chelsea striker is scheduled to have a medical with the Europa League holders on Sunday and thereafter, the club are expected to announce his signing on an initial loan contract.

Speaking to reporters, Morata admitted that he is content to return to Madrid, where he made a name for himself with Real. He added that he is unperturbed by the animosity from few Atleti fans due to his Los Blancos links and stressed that he began learning his trade in the youth academy of Los Colchoneros.
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Chelsea confirm contract extension for Cesar Azpilicueta

Premier League giants Chelsea have confirmed that vice-captain Cesar Azpilicueta has penned a new long-term deal to keep him at the club until the summer of 2022. The Spain international has racked nearly 300 appearances during his six-and-a-half seasons with the Blues and he has now been rewarded with a fresh deal which would extend his association with the club for up to a decade.

“I am really happy to extend my stay here at Chelsea. Since I came, I felt the joy and responsibility to play for this club, these fans, and every time I go on the pitch I try do my best. Hopefully there is a lot to come and we can keep Chelsea where it belongs.” Azpilicueta told the club’s official website following the renewal.
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Maurizio Sarri continues to keep the faith on Giroud and Morata

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has indicated that he would continue to keep the faith on centre-forward duo Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud during the first half of the season. The pair have scored just one goal between them since the campaign started and this has generated doubts over their positions with a young Callum Hudson-Odoi waiting for an opportunity to impress.

However, speaking after the 1-1 draw against Liverpool, Sarri highlighted that both strikers add purpose to the squad despite their shortcomings in finding the scoresheet, he said: “I want to use Giroud and Morata because I think it’s right to use them in the first part of the season. You know the characteristics; Giroud is very important for his team-mates and I think Morata in the last 25 minutes was more aggressive than usual.”
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