Jovetic still important to Manchester City - Pellegrini

The Montenegrin has only made five appearances and just one start in an injury-hit start to life in the Premier League, but could play in the Capital One Cup against West Ham

Manuel Pellegrini is confident Stevan Jovetic can still become an important player for Manchester City despite his injury woes.

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The Montenegrin has only featured five times, scoring twice, for City since moving to the Etihad Stadium from Fiorentina for €27 million in the summer.

Goal exclusively revealed in December that City had rejected approaches from Juventus, AC Milan and Inter for the attacker, who is settled in Manchester.

And Pellegrini believes, given time, Jovetic can recapture the Fiorentina and Montenegro form that attracted City's attentions in the first place.

"He came here with the illusion of playing in the Premier League," Pellegrini told the Manchester Evening News. "He was a very important player in Italy for Fiorentina and I still believe he will be a very important player for us.

"He can really start playing often in the next three months and I think he can be the player we hoped he would be.

"It’s very difficult to be happy when you’re not playing and you have so many injuries but he’s conscious that he will be 100 per cent fit and demonstrate why he’s here."

Jovetic is in the squad to face West Ham in the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final on Tuesday after recovering from hamstring and calf injuries, but Pellegrini is not sure how much of a part he will play.

"We’ll see what happens with Stevan in the next few days," he continued. "It’s an important chance for him to come back to play but I don’t think he’ll be able to play from the beginning or play 90 minutes."