Manchester City latest: England striker signs; Hart praised by players past and present

All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from the Etihad…

Following his return to Manchester City’s starting XI, goalkeeper Joe Hart has been hailed as England’s finest by teammate Micah Richards.

Hart took his place between the sticks for the Blues’ 4-2 Champions League win over Viktoria Plzen last night. And speaking after the match, Richards told Sky Sports just how highly he rated the ‘keeper.

In my opinion, he’s one of the best in the world,” Richards said.

Everyone goes through a difficult spell in their career. He has gone through it and he’s one of the best so will get over it and I thought he did very well.”

Given Costel Pantilimon’s form since taking over from Hart, it will be interesting to see which of his two ‘keepers Manuel Pellegrini picks to play against Swansea City this weekend.

If Hart is back on the bench, he may start to wonder just how long this enforced “rest” will go on for.

But Richards is not the only one to have his say on Hart. Former City and Manchester United player Peter Schmeichel has once again joined the debate.

The Dane has previously spoken of his belief that Pellegrini made a mistake by dropping him, and he has reinforced those beliefs when speaking to Sky Sports.

Speaking of the two goals Hart conceded last night, Schmeichel said, “I don’t think he had any chance with the goals.

You look at his body language and he’s there and doing well, but you can also see he’s been hurt.”

The only way he can put that apparent hurt behind him is to play regularly, and prove exactly what he can do.

And finally, Manchester City Ladies have signed England international Toni Duggan from Everton, continuing the impressive recent recruitment drive.

The 22-year-old striker told the Manchester Evening News, “I’m delighted to get the move finished. City have always been a big club and when I met with them, I found that their plans for the women’s game are massive. They’re looking to take the game to the next level and that’s what it needs.”

It looks like City’s transformations are not only reserved for the men’s game.

image: © illarterate

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