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‘Dias has hit the ground running’ – £62m Man City defender frightens opponents, says Onuoha

The former Citizens centre-half has been impressed by the Portugal international, saying his presence is raising the game of those around him

Ruben Dias has “hit the ground running” at Manchester City and has Premier League rivals running scared, says Nedum Onuoha.

The Blues invested £62 million ($84m) in another centre-half during the summer transfer window. Dias was lured away from Benfica and added to a talent pool at Etihad Stadium that had been crying out for inspiration at the heart of their back four.

The commanding 23-year-old has delivered an immediate return on such a sizeable investment with a productive partnership being struck up with the rejuvenated John Stones.

Onuoha claims Dias has raised the game of many of those around him, while his presence is now concerning opposition bosses who thought a potential chink in Pep Guardiola’s armour had been exposed.

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The former City defender told Radio 5 Live: “Any new player coming into a club, particularly for big money, is going to stimulate the work force and the people that are already there because people will be wondering ‘do I still have my spot’ and it becomes more competitive.

“The fact that he has hit the ground running and suits the style from minute one, it means you want to play alongside somebody who is doing that well. You need to raise your game to be alongside that player that is almost exceeding expectations.

“I think the better players you have in a team and the better they are playing week in, week out then it’s not just game days when it is competitive, it is training days as well. There are people fighting to be in the side at the weekend.

“To bring someone like him in, and for him to have done as well as he has, it’s a great thing for the defence. Also, the psychological aspect is there for the opposition now as they are hearing noises about Dias and the partnership with Stones.

“It puts you off, rather than when people were going to the Etihad last season and thinking that City are quite weak and they will give us something. Once that leaves the conversation, you are trying to figure out how exactly are we going to be able to do them?”

Dias has made 21 appearances for City this season, with the value he is offering to the club’s cause helping them back into Premier League title contention and through to another Carabao Cup final.

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