Manuel Pellegrini has explained his decision to let Alvaro Negredo leave when he was manager of Real Madrid and believes Manchester City have bought a better player than the one he sold four years ago.
The City manager took over at the Bernabeu in the summer of 2009 when Real exercised a clause to buy back Negredo from Almeria.
But the striker was soon sold on to Sevilla without making an appearance because of the quality of Real's other forwards. The Spanish club broke the world transfer record that summer to sign Cristiano Ronaldo for £80 million and also bought Karim Benzema.
They already had Gonzalo Higuain and ended up allowing first Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and then Ruud van Nistelrooy to leave. Negredo scored 70 goals in four seasons for Sevilla before joining City for £20 million this summer.
And Pellegrini said: "Negredo was very young when I was at Real Madrid. He just played that year for Almeria and he had a very good year but at Real Madrid at the moment were Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Higuain, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Huntelaar and Negredo so six [forwards] for two places was too much.
"So it was very important for him to continue growing as a player and he signed for Sevilla and it was a very important four years for him. Negredo had a goal wrongly disallowed on his City debut, against Newcastle, and has scored as a substitute in his last two matches, versus Cardiff and Hull.
"I think that every game he played he did very well. He scored in all the matches so I hope we will see the best of Negredo that I saw in Spain for the last eight years. He was a very young player when I was at Real Madrid and after every year he is a very important striker in Spain. He will also be here in England."