Pep Guardiola believes Gabriel Jesus will be ready for action sooner rather than later.
The Brazilian striker who was signed from Palmeiras last summer has enjoyed a break with his family over Christmas and will join up with his new team-mates later this week.
The City boss believes it won’t take too long to get him to match fitness, however, and is hoping he will soon return to full match fitness.
“We are going to see,” said Pep. “He was three years without a holiday which is a lot for any player but he is fit and young so we will see – he has only had two or three weeks without training so I don’t think we will need to spend too much time getting him ready.”
The Blues’ boss added he is happy with the way his team starts games, but admits conceding early goals is a problem.
City have gone behind to early strikes on several occasions this campaign and the Blues’ boss says it’s something his team cannot continue to do.
“I’m not overly concerned about the chances we concede because in the last few games there have been very few,” said Pep.
“Against Watford and Arsenal there were hardly any chances for the opposition, at Hull there were a few more but against Liverpool only one.
“I’d be more concerned if we were starting badly and conceding goals but we have been starting really well, creating opportunities, are aggressive and winning the second ball so I don’t see any major issues – but obviously, if we concede an early goal it makes it that much more complicated.”
Asked about the Blues’ position in the table and the gap to leaders Chelsea, Pep responded: “We are not thinking too far ahead – our focus now is Burnley and then we go to the London Stadium to face West Ham in the FA Cup – we’re not thinking beyond these games.
“Yes, Barcelona were 12 points behind Real Madrid by March, I think, and we recovered to win La Liga but I am only answering the question of whether I’ve done it before rather than whether we will overtake Chelsea – we are only thinking about the next game.
“Sometimes things can take a little bit longer to work the way you want them to but I’m so optimistic about everything and we are going to try.”