Pep Guardiola has challenged Manchester City wingers Jack Grealish and Jeremy Doku to prove their worth in his attack.
Grealish was a key figure in City’s treble-winning campaign last season, but the England winger has struggled with injuries this season.
The former Aston Villa player, who cost City £100 million in 2021, has only recently returned to action after witnessing Belgian youngster Doku thrive in his absence.
Doku, bought in the close season from Rennes, provides a different type of threat on the flanks than Grealish, and some City fans have asked for the 21-year-old to start Saturday’s Premier League match at Wolves.
“Jeremy can play on the right as well. So who is going to play more, who is going to perform better?” Guardiola told reporters on Friday.
“Phil Foden can play on the left too. So they compete with Phil Foden as well.
“The guy who performs well and feels better than the other one is going to have more chances to play. Always it has been like that.”
With six wins in six games, City has made a strong start to their title defence.
Guardiola’s men are chasing an unprecedented fourth Premier League title in a row, and the Spaniard dismissed predictions that they will glide to victory at Molineux against a Wolves side that has only taken four points from six games.
“Normally, all of our games are ‘easy’ – and if we don’t win the Premier League with a 10-point lead in November, it’s a disaster!” “I know exactly what it is,” he remarked wryly.
“(Wolves boss Gary) O’Neil did an incredible job at Bournemouth and I have the feeling they will do it too.
“It is a team where the quality is there. Hopefully we can respond with these next three games before the international break.”
City will again be without John Stones and Bernardo Silva this weekend.
England defender Stones has not played since City’s Community Shield clash with Arsenal on August 6 due to a thigh issue.
Silva has been sidelined after he came off against Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League last week.
City also have Rodri out while the Spain midfielder serves the second game of his three-match ban after being sent off in last Saturday’s 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
“Just for the amount Rodri has played, the consistency – of course, it is not easy to replace,” Guardiola added