The young Serbian pushed his English colleague out of the first-team reckoning at the Etihad Stadium but there are no hard feelings, with the 30-year-old impressedManchester City defender Matija Nastasic should be considered as a candidate for the Premier League’s Player of the Year, insists team-mate Joleon Lescott.
The young Serbian quickly deposed the Englishman from Roberto Mancini’s back line after joining from Fiorentina in the summer but the displaced centre-back feels that he has not been given enough credit.
“[He's] a candidate for player of the season,” Lescott wrote on Twitter. “Not enough people talking about him. If he was English people would be raving about him.”
Nastasic is pleased with his start, telling the Daily Mirror: “So far I've played 20 games and everything is going well for me at the moment.
“I'm very proud of [breaking up Lescott’s partnership with Vincent Kompany] because Joleon is a great player.
“When I arrived in England, I noticed in the first couple of games that I could settle and play, and that gave me confidence.”
The youngster also confided that he has been helped to settle by countryman and Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic.
“When I arrived, I asked Nemanja for advice,” the 20-year-old added. “I spoke with him and still speak with him. For me, he is a great friend and a great person.
“He gave me general advice, not just about football but about lifestyle and young players adapting to English football.”