Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

‘Incredible’ Man City star backed by ex-Liverpool man who offers him solace

Man City duo Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne 2021

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has offered solace to “incredible” and “unbelievable” Manchester City star Raheem Sterling.

Mignolet is set to line-up for his current side Club Brugge against City in their Champions League clash at the Etihad on Wednesday. He will be coming up against his old Reds team-mate who has struggled for action so far this season.

Sterling has mostly made appearances from off the City bench. That’s in fact what he did in the reverse fixture last month.

Mignolet was asked about the England international in his pre-match press conference, to which he replied: “When he was at Liverpool he was already an incredible player.

“I’m not surprised at all about his career. He is just an unbelievable player.

“Of course he might wish to play more regularly at the moment but, with all the quality and all the competition there is for places inside this Manchester City dressing room, it is always difficult to get minutes.”

Phil Foden has been a key fixture under Pep Guardiola this season. Jack Grealish has also featured heavily.

And with Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and the currently injured Ferran Torres also in the squad, it’s hard for Sterling to pick up minutes.

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Mignolet will be playing in a stadium he’s travelled to many times. His 2019 return to native Belgium came after nine years spent in England.

The shot stopper added: “I think I won a few matches here with Liverpool but at the same time lost a few. Even with Sunderland we won a few matches.

“But that is the past. I am not really preoccupied with that. It is tomorrow that really counts.”

Brugge boss means business

Meanwhile, Mignolet’s manager Philippe Clement has warned City his side have “not come here on a school trip”.

He said: “I never start from a scenario thinking we cannot get any points. That is not in my mind.

“I want a team that will fight really hard on the pitch – we play every match for points. We have not come here on a school trip, let me be clear.

“We know we are playing against one of the two best teams in the world but in the first match we showed some good sides.

“They were not always our best sides but it is a challenge to do that in a better way and take another step forward.”

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