Nicolas Otamendi has revealed a chat with Sergio Aguero persuaded him to join Manchester City in a £32million switch last month.
Otamendi has joined international colleagues Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta and Martin Demichelis at Manchester City following the transfer from Valencia – and revealed striker Aguero was the first to let him know of the club’s interest.
“The fact that there are a lot of Argentinians in the dressing room was very, very important,” he told the Daily Express. “I think that in football whenever you get the chance to share a dressing room with someone that you know, have worked with, or have played with before, that can be quite decisive when making a decision as to where to make a move.
“I had a chat with ‘Kun’ [Aguero] and in fact it was he who told me first of City’s interest. When that interest became more firm I had talks with the manager Manuel Pellegrini. That’s when it became more of a concrete idea and he was instrumental in talking to me to bring me to the club.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute since I’ve arrived here. I have to say that I’ve settled very well within the group since the first moment. That’s because I’ve been treated in an excellent way by everybody who is part of things here.”
Otamendi has played in City’s last two games but accepts he faces a fight to keep a regular place with City’s three other central defenders Vincent Kompany – who is fit again for Saturday’s clash with Tottenham and White Hart Lane – Demichelis and Eliaquim Mangala.
He added: “When you come to a big club like City you know that there is going to be competition for places because whenever top players become available, City are going to be in for them.
“I’ve now had the opportunity to play in two full games and I’ve tried my level best to play at the very best of my ability and show some good form as I try to settle into what is already an established team.
“I’m fortunate in the sense that I have got some very experienced colleagues at the back with me. People like Mangala, Kompany and Demichelis are very experienced and you know it’s going to be tough competition competing for places with them.
“However I did manage to play these last couple of games and when I do get 90 minutes it’s down to me to take advantage of the opportunities that are given to me and play my best alongside these guys.”
Otamendi has backed misfiring Aguero to take out his frustration on his favourite opponents.
Aguero, last season’s Golden Boot winner, has only scored once from open play this season, but enjoys facing Spurs having scored 10 times against them in seven games since moving to England.
Otamendi said: “It is no surprise he has such a great record aginast Tottenham because he is one of the top strikers in the world. He can create something out of nothing at any particular moment and turn a game.
“Let’s hope Saturday is another one of those days when he can get off the mark and win the game for us.”
The physical intensity of English football is something Otamendi relishes.
“If it’s not the best league in the world then it’s certainly one of them,” he said. “It’s the type of football that I’ve always enjoyed and always appreciated. When you come here you really do start to enjoy your football even more.
“I like the fact that it’s so competitive here. There are always seven or eight teams that are involved in the battle for winning trophies so it forces you as a player to give 100% in every game because of that fierce competition that there is. I’m certainly enjoying the challenge.”