Walker gives exciting verdict on Man City's four summer signings
Manchester City are a stronger team after replacing their four outgoing players over the summer, according to captaincy candidate Kyle Walker.
City lost influential captain Ilkay Gundogan, winger Riyad Mahrez, centre-back Aymeric Laporte and youngster Cole Palmer in an unusually-busy summer, but replaced them with Mateo Kovacic, Josko Gvardiol, Matheus Nunes and Jeremy Doku.
While most teams would struggle after losing players of such experience (or promise in Palmer's case), Walker believes the replacements have the potential to make City even better over the coming season and beyond.
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“The players that we lost, my good gosh, what great players," Walker explained after signing a two-year contract extension until 2026.
"Obviously Gundo. Even Cole. To see the talent and mark him is difficult and he's going to be some hell of a player. Riyad has proved for many years just what he can do and his qualities.
"But I feel that the players that we've brought in, we've got Josko who is a Rolls-Royce of a centre-back the age that he is and the quality that he shows on the ball and with the manager, I feel the world's his oyster basically.
"Kovacic has four Champions Leagues. What more do I say? He's not inexperienced. He's been in these high-pressure games before. So I feel that he can add something where he's won it and he's won it again. So we haven't done that so he can bring his experience to that front."
Walker went on to assess the signings of Nunes and Doku - recalling how he was impressed by midfielder Nunes when playing for Wolves at Manchester United at the start of the season - and predicted both will improve under Pep Guardiola.
Walker continued: "Matheus, I saw him at Old Trafford when Man United played Wolves and I said to Bernardo [Silva] and Ruben [Dias], ‘This guy's alright’. Lo and behold, two weeks later he's in the building. So I feel that it's been a great transfer window. I feel that we've got the positions and the players in the right areas that we needed.
"And then Jeremy, obviously quick, raw and with Pep's guidance again and sharpening up on a few certain things which he probably knows that he needs to bring to his game, I think he's going to be fantastic and a great season for all of them. And hopefully as a team, as a collective.”
Walker has worn the captain's armband in all but one game this summer, despite looking close to leaving at one point, because Kevin De Bruyne has been out injured. The England defender says he would love to be voted as permanent captain to succeed Gundogan, but will respect the squad's vote if he doesn't get the position.
“It's an honour," he said. "And to have the armband of some of the players that have worn it in the past, and then obviously, off the back of a Treble-winning season, to then go and captain the club for the first time and win a Super Cup. I felt very proud of myself.
"But again, the vote is going to come in and the lads will determine who they want to be their captain for the foreseeable season. And I wish whoever it is all the success, hopefully it's me, but we'll see what happens.”