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The Spanish boss heaped praise on his new signing after taking down Burnley in the Carabao Cup

Pep Guardiola says that he believes Ruben Dias can be a key figure for Manchester City for “six or seven years” after sealing a deal for the Portuguese defender.

Manchester City completed a £62 million ($79m) move for the defender on Tuesday, with Dias signing a six-year deal with Guardiola’s side.

Part of that cost was offset by a move for Nicolas Otamendi, who completed a move in the opposite direction to Benfica in a deal worth £14m ($17m).

Dias heads to Manchester having already won 19 caps for Portugal and emerging as a star as part of the Benfica set-up.

And Guardiola says that he believes that Dias can be a mainstay for City for years to come as the defender should jump right into matches with his new club.

“I have to thank Nicolas Otamendi, part of the incredible success we have had in recent years,” Guardiola told Sky Sports. “The season we won the league with 100 points he was incredible.

“He played with a broken ankle, with 20 stitches, he had a great mentality so I wish him and his family all the best. He will be one of the things I will always remember about this club.

“We know Ruben Dias’s personality and I am sure he will be an incredible player for the next six or seven years.

“We’re very happy to have him. Our back four are now a young team. We start training tomorrow and get going as quick as possible.”

Manchester City cruised past Burnley on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup, winning 3-0 behind a brace from Raheem Sterling and a goal from summer signing Ferran Torres.

Guardiola was full of praise for the Spanish star, and his side in general, as City now look ahead to a must-watch clash with free-flowing Leeds this weekend.

“[It was] important we didn’t concede and the team was good in general. We are still far away from our best because we’re not training much. We have a lot of players out, six because of Covid and four injuries,” Guardiola said.

“But step by step when we have all the squad we will get better. I hope we won’t be far away from the people up front but we are in the quarter-finals of this competition again so it’s good.

“When you lose a game the most important thing is the next one. Firstly, because if you lose in this competition, you’re out. Secondly because we have just two games before the international break and some players need to play, we didn’t have a pre-season so that’s important we have to give them minutes.

“Ferran Torres needs to improve some things, because we haven’t trained much or spoke much. He has the skills, he’s young, he’s aggressive he can play on both sides, he’s so clever it’s not cross to cross he is always watching what’s happening.”

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October 1, 2020
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