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Manchester City star reveals difficultly at being tasked with making three major changes following £77 million arrival



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Manchester City centre-back Josko Gvardiol has reflected on his title-winning debut campaign at the Etihad Stadium.

The 22-year-old, who is currently representing Croatia at the European Championship in Germany alongside fellow Manchester City teammate Mateo Kovacic, moved to the Etihad Stadium from RB Leipzig last August for £77 million.

The defender won the Premier League title, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup during his maiden campaign in east Manchester, with Gvardiol playing predominantly at left-back, and making 38 starts and 42 appearances during the recent season.

Gvardiol netted brilliantly from long-range against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League, and also scored a pivotal brace against Fulham at Craven Cottage last month, as Manchester City successfully chased a record-breaking fourth consecutive Premier League title.

The Croatian has made 197 professional appearances despite being only 22-years-old, with the defender having also enjoyed success in the Bundesliga and with Dinamo Zagreb before moving to the Premier League champions.

Gvardiol, who was also on the scoresheet against Luton Town and Nottingham Forest for the Sky Blues, started the win over West Ham on the final day of the campaign as well as the Emirates FA Cup Final loss to Manchester United at Wembley Stadium.

The defender has started both matches for Croatia at the European Championship in the past week, and before the tournament, discussed the difficulty in adapting to life at Manchester City.

Reflecting on his debut campaign at the Etihad Stadium, Gvardiol said: “It’s the Premier League, the best league in the world, the rhythm is tough, the other teams, the opponents are tough as well. Every game is a new final, especially at the end of the season. There’s no room for mistakes.

“I knew that I’d need some time to adapt because I haven’t played that position for a long time. It’s something I’m aware of, it’s a big challenge for me, new club, new team-mates, new position.

“I said many times I will take this first season as best as possible to adapt, to learn the style the manager wants us to play and to understand my team-mates.

“I knew from the beginning it wasn’t going to be easy, but it’s something I dreamed about, I’m happy to be here. I think from now on it’s going to be easier and easier.”

Gvardiol and Croatia are at risk of elimination from the Euro’s however, after suffering a last-gasp draw with Albania and 3-0 loss to Spain in Group B.