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Jury still out on Manchester City signings who play it the Arsenal way

Manuel Pellegrini’s club has had something of a limited return on the £80m it has paid out for Arsène Wenger’s cast-offs

Asmile broke out across Manuel Pellegrini’s face when he was asked to consider a question that seemed to have been devised with a headline in mind. Does Manchester City’s acquisition of Wilfried Bony mean they now boast the strongest striking lineup in Europe? “Well let me see, it is so difficult to compare,” the City manager said, defusing the prompt with his usual mixture of politeness and amusement. “If you go to Barcelona you have Suárez, Messi, Neymar and Pedro. If you go to Real Madrid you have Ronaldo, Bale, Hernández and James. They are very important players, too. You can review all the teams and they have important strikers and important players. I don’t think we are the only ones.”

Bony will be unable to make his debut for a while following his £25m move from Swansea due to his involvement with Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations. City are also missing Yaya Touré against Arsenal on Sunday afternoon for the same reason, though with Sergio Agüero and Vincent Kompany fit again Pellegrini is confident his squad will be strong enough to cope.

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