The Argentina international has put pen-to-paper on a new four-year deal at the Etihad Stadium, in positive news for the Premier League title hopefuls.
It has been a good 24 hours for Manchester City, what with a 4-0 win over Newcastle in their opening fixture of the season. However, the news that Pablo Zabaleta has extended his stay at the club is of even more importance than the three points.
The South American right-back has become a mainstay in the City defence, and has agreed a new four-year deal with the club, much to his delight.
"I have been here for five years and it feels like home,” Zabaleta said.
“Signing a contract extension with the club makes me feel very happy. I feel great here, I like the Premiership, and I think Manchester City are one of the clubs looking for success in the future. It is a club that is very well-organised and when you see that everything works well you want to be here.
"I think we have got a great squad, fantastic players and hopefully we can win something this year.
"I am sure the fans will respond very well as always. They are a big support for the team week in week out, and hopefully at the end of the season the fans and players can celebrate with a trophy."
City’s chances of winning trophies will be significantly improved with a happy Zabaleta in their side. His ability is unquestionable and there for all to see, and the ex-Espanyol man is arguably the best in his position in the Premier League. He is defensively sound, never takes a backward step and provides an extra attacking option with his marauding runs up the flank.
However, Zabaleta’s importance to City exceeds his considerable ability on the pitch. In a transient club that sees players come and go, the Argentine is one of the longest-serving in the current squad, and as such has the respect of the rest of the contingent.
With an influx of foreign talent and a lack of Englishmen in the starting XI, Zabaleta is as good as a home-grown player after spending five years at City. He now understands the culture of the club and the country, and knows what it means to the fans.
Zabaleta is an out-and-out leader and alongside Vincent Kompany in the City rearguard the club have two very dominant and awe-inspiring defenders. This drives confidence into the squad, the fans and the club.
The Argentine was one of City’s most consistent players in a below-par campaign last season, and can play a considerable role in Manuel Pellegrini’s reign at the Etihad Stadium.
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