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News now: 'Exceptional player': Pep Guardiola left blown away by 'fantastic' £25m Man City ace vs Yokohama

Sunday's 5-3 victory over Yokohama F.Marinos by Manchester City earned Mateo Kovacic accolades from Pep Guardiola.

Following his team's sensational preseason start, the Spanish tactician offered his opinion on the eagerly anticipated Manchester Evening News debut of the £25 million (News now) man.

According to Pep Guardiola's comments to Manchester Evening News reporter Simon Bajkowski, Mateo Kovacic's performance against Yokohama F.Marinos left him feeling happy.

Pep Guardiola raves about Mateo Kovacic after Manchester City beat Yokohama F.Marinos

The Croatian international started in a midfield triangle with James McAtee and Kalvin Phillips, whom Frank LeBouef described as "fantastic."

The 29-year-old began on the left flank and frequently picked up the ball from wide areas before drifting into the center to control play.

Manchester City News
Photo showing Manchester City during training

Pep Guardiola praised Mateo Kovacic's performance against Yokohama F.Marinos because he appeared at ease wearing a Manchester City jersey.

Mateo Kovacic could reach his final form at City

Really excellent. He is a really good athlete. He just played his first game. He must be aware of who we are, what we want, and why we are using him in various ways. Really, really fantastic, though," the Catalan coach added.

Mateo Kovacic may have only just begun to cause trouble at the Etihad Stadium if he played well for Manchester City against Yokohama F.Marinos.

Given that the former Real Madrid technician already possesses all the skills necessary to succeed at City, being mentored by Pep Guardiola arguably the best manager of all time could propel him to the pinnacle of his abilities.

While Kovacic was a class act at Chelsea, it is important to note that there was a lot of managerial instability there, and the team's style of play was far too defensive for a player of his abilities.

At Stamford Bridge, the celebrated midfielder frequently had to manage everything by himself in the middle of the field.

Kovacic might reach previously unimaginable heights if he were to play with world-class midfielders on the best team in the world and under a legendary coach like Guardiola.

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