Wolves forward Diogo Jota insists he would not swap captain Conor Coady for £80million Harry Maguire.
The Portuguese has backed his team-mate’s quality ahead of Manchester United‘s visit to Molineux on Monday.
Maguire helped United keep their first clean sheet since February in their opening 4-0 win over Chelsea after becoming the world’s most expensive defender when he moved from Leicester earlier this month.
Fellow centre-back Coady, meanwhile, has been a focal point in Wolves’ rise from the Championship to the Europa League and, despite Maguire’s record-breaking transfer, Jota is siding with his skipper.
Asked if he would swap Maguire for Coady or any of the other Wolves defenders, Jota said: “That is some question. I think Harry Maguire has a lot of quality but I know the players that we have in our team and I trust them.”
England international Maguire was one of three summer recruits by United, along with Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men look to improve on a largely disappointing 2018/19 campaign.
Jota added: “It (the £80m fee) is hard to explain. The market is unreal now in my opinion. But nothing to do with me, it is to do with the clubs and it is the moment we are living. We just have to respect that amount.
“It’s a new season. Solskjaer has had more time to work with his players, he’s made his own changes.
“In the transfer market they’ve tried to improve their team so we know it’s going to be very hard for us. We have to understand that we will face a very big team.”
Jota scored in Wolves’ two home wins over United last season when they dumped them out of the FA Cup just weeks before a 2-1 league victory.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side finished seventh, nine points behind sixth-placed United, last term as they qualified for Europe for the first time since 1980.
But despite being tipped to try to crack the top six Jota remained cautious about making predictions.
“I think it is too soon about the final classification. We got seventh place it’s true but it is very hard to get it again,” said the 22-year-old.
“We have loads of teams that spend more money than us, trying to achieve that position.
“So we have to realise it’s not going to be easy to get seventh. We go game by game and in the end we will see.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is confident that Arsenal can fight for the top-four thanks to reinforcements added their squad ahead of the 2019/20 season.
The Gabon international hit the winning goal for the second time in a week as Arsenal beat Burnley to make it two victories from two in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Gunners won 1-0 at Newcastle on the opening weekend courtesy of an Aubameyang strike and he proved the difference again as Burnley were beaten 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
The 30-year-old was pleased with his team’s performance and believes they are confident ahead of their trip to Liverpool to face the European champions next week.
“I think we started well today and I think it’s good to start like this, with two wins, before we go to Liverpool. We feel confident, we feel good,” he told BT Sport.
"We feel stronger, of course we can fight for the top four."— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 17, 2019
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang believes that reinforcements to the Arsenal squad such as David Luiz ensure they can push on in the Premier League. 👊
🎙 @DesKellyBTS pic.twitter.com/0ilGqERunZ
“That was important because we played at home. I’m happy today.”
Aubameyang added: “I think we feel stronger.
“Players like David [Luiz], Dani Ceballos, they came here and now we feel stronger. I feel sure we can fight for the top four.”
Pep Guardiola had no complaints about the decision but bemoaned a lack of consistency after VAR denied Manchester City a last-gasp winner against Tottenham.
The Premier League champions had to settle for a 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium after Gabriel Jesus’ injury-time strike was disallowed on review for a handball by Aymeric Laporte.
Under this season’s clarified handball rules, the decision was correct. However, Guardiola has not forgotten that Spurs’ Fernando Llorente was awarded a goal against City despite it hitting his arm in the Champions League last season.
City boss Guardiola said: “If it’s hands it’s hands but why was (it) not hands with Llorente last season and why is it hands today?
“But always we have to live with the decision in these situations. It is what it is, accept it. It will make us stronger.
“We played better today than the second best team in Europe. When people say you can do better – better than this I don’t know if it is possible.
“We conceded just two shots on target against this team, with the quality they have. We created a lot to score goals. We played incredibly, (one of) the best games in our time together. We were so good.
“Unfortunately we could not win but we will prepare for the next. It is just the beginning.”
One other incident in the game saw Rodri denied a penalty by referee Michael Oliver after a tussle with Erik Lamela but VAR did not intervene.
Guardiola said: “VAR in that moment was taking a coffee.”
City twice led with Kevin De Bruyne crossing for Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero to score but Lamela and Lucas Moura both levelled for Spurs.
The other main talking point from the game was an incident between Guardiola and Aguero on the touchline after the Argentinian was substituted in the 66th minute.
Guardiola angrily shouted at the player about something but the pair were later seen hugging.
“He believes that I was upset with him for the goal we conceded,” said Guardiola. “I am sometimes exaggerated on the touchline but few times am I upset with the players.
“I was a football player, I know what it is like to be in there. It is part of the game – emotions. We talked after and during, and that’s all. He is a guy I like. I love him a lot.”
Provided by Press Association Sport