x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Johnson will fill Robinho's void

The new signing is confident he can succeed where the Brazilian failed and command a regular place in the Manchester City side.

Adam Johnson is confident he can succeed where Robinho failed and command a regular place in the Manchester City side. Speaking for the first time since he joined the English Premier League side on transfer deadline day for £7 million (Dh41.1m), the 22-year-old winger said he is determined to become a central part of Roberto Mancini's plans and establish himself as a top-flight player. The signing of Johnson fills the void left by Robinho, the Brazilian who has been farmed out to Santos on loan after finding himself on the periphery of the first team.

Mancini, who met Johnson for the first time at training yesterday, will be thrilled to hear his new recruit talking so enthusiastically about fighting Martin Petrov and Craig Bellamy for a place on the left flank. "If you want to play for a top team you are going to have competition from international players and that's what I want to be," Johnson said. "I will fight for my place." Everton, Chelsea and Newcastle had all been linked with a move for Johnson but he admitted Eastlands was always his preferred destination. "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, one I couldn't turn down, to come to a club who are going places, who have ambition and who want to win things," said Johnson. "That's what I want to do, win trophies."

Johnson's appetite for honours matches that of the club's Abu Dhabi owners. The 19-cap England Under 21 international revealed he spoke with Khaldoon al Mubarak, the City chairman, shortly after he had signed a contract until 2014. "Khaldoon said he was pleased I signed for the club and that he has been following me for the last few months," said Johnson. "He said he was delighted I was on board and hoped I would have a big impact. That from such a powerful man was great."

Johnson met his new teammates for the first time yesterday and admitted he was likely to "pinch" himself when he walked into City's star-studded dressing room. "There is so much talent," he said. "I will be pinching myself for the first day or so but I've got to be confident in my own ability and show everyone why I deserve to be there." @Email:kaffleck@thenational.ae