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From Sam Lee: What does Pep Guardiola really think of Matheus Nunes?

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Pep Guardiola continues to hold faith in Matheus Nunes and believes the midfielder is a ‘useful player’ according to a new report from The Athletic’s Sam Lee.

The Portugal international midfielder became Manchester City’s final acquisition in a busy summer transfer window in 2023, joining the club from Wolverhampton Wanderers in a big-money agreement between the two clubs.

Following an initial stand-off between both player and club, Nunes finally got his wish on transfer deadline day, as Manchester City signed the 25-year-old in a deal understood to have been worth £53 million with no add-ons included.

However, despite some encouraging performances in particular outings, Matheus Nunes’ start to life in Sky Blue has been largely inconsistent in terms of playing opportunities, recording 30 appearances across competitions amounting to 1,529 minutes of action.

Nunes has however managed to record five assists in that time, with Pep Guardiola utilising the former Sporting Lisbon man in a number of midfield roles, as well as in the wide-wing position in the short-term absence of Jack Grealish and Jeremy Doku at one stage.

Despite the lack of opportunities over a consistent period, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes Matheus Nunes is a ‘useful player’ and wants to involve him more in his system at the Etihad Stadium, according to the information of The Athletic’s Sam Lee.

As for Nunes himself, the report states that the Portuguese international is ‘said to be a good guy who trains well’ and has ‘not complained’ about his relatively few minutes in action since joining Manchester City last summer.

Referring back to Manchester City’s meeting with Aston Villa in the Premier League last month, Sam Lee also reveals that Pep Guardiola ‘gave serious consideration’ to starting Matheus Nunes.

However, the City boss ultimately decided the game was ‘too important’ and instead turned to Bernardo Silva – seen as the ‘more reliable option’. The report states Nunes is ‘not in contention for many matches’ unless the opposition are ‘more forgiving and/or the game is expected to be open’.

Given the important nature of Manchester City’s remaining four matches in the Premier League this season, in addition to their FA Cup final on May 25 against Manchester United, Matheus Nunes may not be afforded another start in the top-flight this season.

That is of course unless Manchester City manage to secure the top-flight crown for an unprecedented fourth successive season before their final day clash with West Ham at the Etihad Stadium.

City and their players know that should they win all of their remaining four matches, against Wolves, Fulham, Tottenham, and David Moyes’ aforementioned side, then Arsenal will have no possibility of overturning the direction of the league crown regardless of their own results.

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