Aug 9, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT
Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini says Joe Hart is the best goalkeeper in England.
But No. 2 keep Willy Caballero is from Argentina, and the manager is thrilled to have “two number one goalkeepers” in town this season.
Despite his status as England’s top choice keeper and his experience leading City, Hart lost some playing time late in 2013 to now-Sunderland keeper Costel Pantilimon.
While no one is claiming Hart, 27, is about to lose his job, Pellegrini has familiarity with his new back-up — he coached Caballero at Malaga — who is viewed as a far bigger threat than Pantilimon.
“I have two number one goalkeepers, [the same as] I have two number one full-backs, on the right and left, and in other positions,” Pellegrini said.
“[Caballero is settling in] very well – he is a very good goalkeeper,” said Pellegrini. “I know him from Malaga, and I think he is very happy here.
“I am sure Willy will be very important for us but I also continue thinking we have the best goalkeeper in England in Joe Hart. Top teams need two players for each position because we have to play so many games during the year.
“The best way to have the highest performance from the players is for it to be very competitive between them.”
Caballero, 32, may start in Sunday’s Community Shield match against Arsenal, and Man City’s No. 1 goalkeeper will be a storyline to follow all season. Hart has received plenty of leeway as one of the only Englishmen on City’s roster, but winning knows no nationality.
Do you see Caballero usurping Hart at any point this season (and legit usurping, not a Cup goalkeeper position)?
Meanwhile, City has added a new playmaker in 21-year-old Argentine midfielder Bruno Zuculini. He’s appeared eight times for Argentina’s U-20 side, scoring twice, and played club ball at Racing Club in his home nation. There he posted 10 goals in 92 matches dating back to 2010.
- WATCH: Premier League online via NBC Sports Live Extra – Week 10 0
- Paul Scholes says arrogance could hurt Manchester City 0
- MLS playoffs weekend preview: Which remaining team has the best form? 0
- Van Gaal: Manchester Derby is “biggest” he’ll manage; Rooney in, Falcao out 1
- WATCH: Premier League TV schedule – Week 10 4
- Diego Costa will be available to Chelsea this weekend, says Jose Mourinho; QPR and Blues to tangle on NBCSN 0