Stones expresses confidence in new Man City arrivals as Foden hails Guardiola's squad management

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John Stones is confident Manchester City will continue to perform at an elite level following a period of change, with the Premier League champions recruiting the likes of Erling Haaland and Kalvin Phillips amid the departures of several big names.

Meanwhile, Stones' City and England team-mate Phil Foden has hailed Pep Guardiola's style of management as the biggest factor in creating a harmonious atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium.

Having clinched a second consecutive Premier League title – their fourth in six seasons under Guardiola – with an exhilarating comeback victory over Aston Villa in May, City have used the transfer market to kick-start an evolution of their squad.

Haaland and Phillips represent City's two marquee signings during the off-season, while the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fernandinho have all sought pastures new.

While Stones told the club's website he was sorry to see some of their most storied players depart, he is confident City's new arrivals will keep Guardiola's team competitive.

"I'm always confident we can be successful," Stones said. "Whoever has come in, they have always been great from the start.

"We obviously spend that much time together and get to know people on a personal level first and then we go out on the training pitch and see what they can bring and the quality they have.

"Whoever has come in has stepped up. It's sad to see people go, whether it is retirement or wanting a new challenge and that's hard because we have so many good friends and good memories on the pitch, but we won’t forget those.

"But that’s football, there is always new people coming in and it is credit to the backroom staff and people involved in recruiting that the character fit of players that have come in do so well in the team."

Haaland's arrival should provide City with the focal point they missed at times last term – Kevin De Bruyne top-scored with 15 league goals for a side that shared the attacking burden during 2021-22.

Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland

Meanwhile, Phillips appears the ideal Fernandinho replacement in midfield after making more recoveries per 90 minutes (10.16) than any other outfield player to make a minimum of 15 Premier League appearances last season.

The intense competition for places at the Etihad was suggested as the reason for both Jesus and Sterling departing for domestic rivals in Arsenal and Chelsea respectively.

But Guardiola handed at least 900 minutes of Premier League football to 18 different players last campaign, a tally only bettered by four clubs, and Foden has hailed the tactician for his approach to squad management.

"He's really good at it, bringing everyone together," the creative midfielder said. "We have a big squad and everyone has to be ready to play.

"You see that all year round, everyone has to be ready to step up. Everyone sticking together in moments like those is so important and that's why we win a lot of trophies."

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