MACCA GOOD FOR THE GAME
Chris Hughton says that the return of Steve McManaman to English football can only enhance the quality of the Premiership.
The former Liverpool schemer joined Manchester City before the transfer deadline after completing a four-year spell at Real Madrid. He won a host of medals while in Spain - including two Champions League gongs.
He was Kevin Keegan's biggest capture of the summer and is already beginning to make his mark, once again, on England's top flight.
"Yes, most definitely, Steve is a wonderful player and a wonderful individual," said Chris, ahead of our trip to the City of Manchester Stadium on Sunday.
"I think we probably need to learn from his period away whether he has lost any of the pace, directness and tempo that you need in the English game. If he has missed that and whether he can settle straight back into it. With regards to his ability, there are no doubts about that."
While at Liverpool, McManaman linked the defence to the attack, often picking up the ball from the edge of his own area and embarking on a mazy run to a forward position. Other times he operated similar to an old fashioned winger.
In was evident in Madrid that he modified his game and played in more central areas.
"I would think that he feels, and people around him feel, that he is a better all round player now," added Chris. "When you are playing with the quality he has and the positions he's played in, I think that would have to make him a better player.
"Maybe not the type of player he was when he was here before, he was a bit of a wide player that had a great ability to run at players. Possibly not the same type of player now, but certainly a better all round player."