New Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero insists he doesn’t regret joining the club as a backup, and has reiterated his desire to claim the number one job from Joe Hart over the course of the season.
Signed from Malaga in July for around £6 million, the 32-year-old Argentine was formerly hailed as one of La Liga’s top keepers after helping his former club to the quarter-finals of the 2012-13 Champions League, following a fourth-place league finish the previous campaign.
Originally brought to the Spanish side from Elche in February 2011 by now-City boss Manuel Pellegrini, the former Boca Juniors man was expected to go toe-to-toe with Hart for the first-choice spot, but has dropped back to the bench after starting the 3-0 Community Shield defeat to Arsenal.
Nevertheless, Caballero has stressed that he hasn’t just joined to make up the numbers, and maintains that his eyes are firmly set on a regular starting place, as well as tasting silverware with his new club.
‘My ambition firstly is to adapt to English football, and then of course to play again,’ he said.
‘I’m in a new situation and I have the ambition to push for the number one spot, and also I have this new goal to win titles with one of the best teams in the English league and in the Champions League.
‘They [City] had great success last season, with a great squad of players which has improved over the summer, and I think they have the ambition to prove what they did last season and get better in Europe.’
While Hart’s form was called into question during the 2013-14 season, following a series of blunders which saw him dropped from the lineup for a time, the England international has had a solid, albeit somewhat untested, start to the new campaign.
Nevertheless, should the errors creep back into his game then both Caballero’s experience and notable reputation back in Spain should see him provide some serious competition for the spot between the sticks.