Pep Guardiola: Arsenal have made strong signings ahead of the new season

Pep Guardiola: Arsenal have made strong signings ahead of the new season

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola reckons Arsenal are looking formidable thanks to the impressive signings they've made so far.

The Gunners, managed by Guardiola's former assistant Mikel Arteta, topped the Premier League for much of last season before ending up five points behind treble-winners City in second place.

They have since brought in Kai Havertz from Chelsea, Declan Rice from West Ham - who City had been looking at signing themselves before ending their interest after Arsenal bid £105million for him - and Jurrien Timber from Ajax.

And when Guardiola was asked ahead of Sunday's Community Shield clash with Arsenal if he thought that trio would take them to the next level, he said: "Definitely.

"They didn't buy players to make the squad bigger, they buy starting XI players. Really good, all of them."

He added: "I could not expect differently - Newcastle have done it, Liverpool maybe less but I think with (Jordan) Henderson and Fabinho gone they will go to the market again, and (Manchester) United do it again.

"It's normal. Every season, the teams want to make the team better, not just Man City."

Guardiola said City - whose summer incomings have been Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea and, this week, Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig - were "not in the best, best way" heading into Sunday's season curtain-raiser at Wembley but is hopeful of how they might fare.

"Of course we are going to try, but knowing how we are right now, we finished two weeks later than Arsenal and started two weeks later, so we are not in the best, best way," he said.

"Always we struggle to restart every season, but it is a final and hopefully our mentality can help us to be there and compete, like we have to compete against them and try to win the title."

On Arsenal as Premier League title challengers and the task ahead for his own side, he said: "Arsene Wenger installed Arsenal in that position.

"He changed many things in English football I would say. His influence was massive, one of the greatest, maybe the greatest in terms of coming from aboard and bringing something new that maybe wasn't here, install a culture.

"Maybe the last years (it) dropped, and Mikel brought them again to the position Arsenal was all the time.

"Everybody knows - at the start of every season I say the same, but it is my feeling - there is not one or two, there are a lot of teams that are going to fight for everything, and the challenge is massive for us.

"So how we will be mentally, and how we can grow as a team and football-wise, and sustain that level. It is almost impossible, you cannot win more than we won. But the challenge is that. How starving still we are, how hungry, how we have desire to defend what we won.

"And yeah, we will see during the process of 11 months, in the lower moments - of which we will we have many, I would think more than ever - how we overcome and come back.

"I know they (his players) are incredible competitors and we will push each other and challenge each other and I'm sure that we will be there."

READ MORE: Manchester City confirm signing Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig