Sport

Gareth Barry excited at new-look Manchester City midfield and hails ‘fantastic’ David Silva service

By Dean Wilkins

Injured Manchester City ace Gareth Barry is excited at the prospect of playing alongside new-boys Javi Garcia and Jack Rodwell in his return to midfield.

The England international has been out of action for fourth months with a hernia problem – but his return is imminent after rejoining the Blues squad in training.

And the 31-year-old is relishing the opportunity to feature in Roberto Mancini’s new-look midfield – including reuniting with Spanish hero David Silva.

“Javi Garcia and Jack Rodwell already seem to be settling in well,” the former Aston Villa man said.

“I know Jack better because he’s an English guy and been playing in the Premier League for a few years and he’s a great addition to the squad.

“I think he’s done really well in the first few games he’s played and he seems to have bedded in nicely. I’m sure that the longer he’s here and the more games he plays, he’ll get better and better.

“I don’t know that much about Javi just yet, but his English is excellent and I have done a bit of individual training with him. He seems like a really good player and I’m sure he’ll adapt to the English game quickly.”

And after the World Cup and double European Championship winner Silva inspired City to their first-ever Premier League title, Barry is hoping to reignite their partnership.

“Last year was fantastic and when you play alongside people like David Silva you get to know his game and where he likes to receive the ball,” Barry added.

“Playing with players like that can make your job so much easier, so you can bounce off other players sometimes and it can be good for you and them.”

But there is a Nigel de Jong shaped hole in the centre of the field as the Dutchman left to join Italian giants AC Milan – and Barry hailed the talent he brought to City’s squad.

“I started with Nigel and he was here on my first day and made me feel very welcome so he’ll be a big loss in the dressing room and to the club – if you ask any of the other lads, they’ll say the same thing,” he added.

“Unfortunately that’s part and parcel of football and players come and go at every club. We had a good relationship on and off the pitch and played a lot of games together so as I say, he’ll be missed.”

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