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'It's important to have new blood' - Fernandinho stresses importance of new signings for Man City

16:41 BST 04/10/2020
Fernandinho Manchester City
The Brazilian has backed the host of new arrivals at the club, including Ruben Dias, Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres, to prove crucial in the title race

Manchester City captain Fernandinho has outlined the value of fresh faces among the playing squad the Etihad Stadium as the Blues look to reassert themselves as the prime force in the Premier League.

Pep Guardiola's side missed out on the chance to make it three top-flight titles in a row last season as they finished a distant second to Liverpool, who lifted their first domestic crown for three decades in a dominant performance.

Though City still frequently proved to be among the best in English football, their capitulation to the Reds, as well as several other slip-ups along the way, left several questions to be answered ahead of the new campaign.

Guardiola has looked to answer critics with an influx of new talent to help shore up his team, in the additional wake of David Silva's exit, with Benfica defender Ruben Dias joining for a club-record fee alongside Bournemouth's Nathan Ake and Valencia's Ferran Torres among others.

They have endured something of a rocky start to life with the Blues, with just four points from their opening three league games following Saturday's 1-1 draw with newly-promoted Leeds United - but Fernandinho believes that the additional recruits will prove integral to boosting the overall quality of the team in the weeks to come.

“It's not just his signing [Ruben Dias], but also Ferran Torres, Nathan Ake and Zack Steffen," the Brazilian told the club's official website. "It's important to have new blood, new faces, new players in the dressing room.

"They can challenge the old guys who maybe can be in some comfortable zone or place, so the new guys come with the hunger to try to get a spot in the team and the competition in the team increases.

"It's good for everyone. Whatever they need, we are here to try to settle them into the team as soon as possible, so hopefully, they can show their quality, their skills and help the team to win the games.”

City slipped up in pursuit of Liverpool against Leeds, whose coach Marcelo Bielsa is a noted influence upon Guardiola's philosophy and they now face an international break where several of their major stars are expected to be in action.

They will return to the fray in a fortnight, when they host Arsenal, coached by their manager's former assistant Mikel Arteta.