Leroy Sane is hoping to make his Manchester City debut in Saturday’s derby at Manchester United after waving away doubts over a lack of fitness.
The Germany international has not featured for City since his £37.5million summer move from Schalke after suffering a hamstring injury in pre-season.
The 20-year-old, who returned to training before the recent international break, told the club’s website: “I feel good now and I think I’m ready to play. I’ve trained well and my hamstring is fine so I’m looking forward to finally getting started.”
An appearance in the eagerly-anticipated fixture at Old Trafford could prove a baptism of fire. The match has been heavily hyped, with both clubs having recruited significantly over the summer and having started their Premier League campaigns well.
A fierce atmosphere is anticipated and the game will also see Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, new managers at United and City respectively, go head to head in an intriguing renewal of an old rivalry.
Sane said: “I’ve played in derby games in Germany but this should be a great match and one I’m really looking forward to, especially because Pep Guardiola is taking on Jose Mourinho.
“It should be a special game and we can sense the expectation all around the city from our supporters.
“It’s going to be exciting and I hope I can play some part and help us bring back three points.”
Sane’s debut could come alongside that of his fellow German Ilkay Gundogan, another summer signing who is yet to play because of injury. Defender Bacary Sagna is also back in contention and captain Vincent Kompany could return too.
Sane’s availability could facilitate a reshuffling of the forward line in the absence of suspended striker Sergio Aguero. If Guardiola decides not to use Kelechi Iheanacho as an out-and-out replacement for the Argentinian, he could move Nolito, Kevin De Bruyne or Raheem Sterling into a move advanced role.