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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep 11, 2008

Zabaleta: I need time to find my feet at City

Argentina international Pablo Zabaleta is anticipating good times ahead at Manchester City, but has warned fans not to demand too much too soon from him.

Zabaleta swapped Spanish side Espanyol for City just prior to the transfer deadline and, having been on international duty since, is still waiting to make his debut for the Premier League outfit.

But when Zabaleta does make his bow for the Eastlands team it will be part of an exciting new era for the club following the recent takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment.

"The plan is very interesting, with great possibilities. I've come here to challenge for the league and for European competitions," said Zabaleta.

However, the 23-year-old right-sided defender, who moved to Europe three years ago after joining Espanyol from San Lorenzo, is hoping people will give him time to find his feet in Manchester.

"What nobody can forget is that I will need some time to adapt to everything, as it's such a big change," he added.

"I was only (in Manchester) for a few hours and hardly left the hotel. I did take a small trip around, as well as visiting the stadium.

"(The stadium) is very nice with very good acoustics. The pitch is incredible, it is perfect for playing on. I can't wait to start playing there."

Zabaleta's signing by City was officially confirmed the day before Sulaiman Al-Fahim and his partners announced their takeover of the club.

That swoop may have taken many by surprise, but Zabaleta revealed he was aware of the situation prior to signing for City.

"I knew these negotiations existed for some time and I was aware that if they came to fruition, the injection of money would be really important," he added.

Something the Buenos Aires-born defender admitted he had no clue about though was City's British record-breaking £32.5million signing of Brazil international Robinho from Real Madrid just before the transfer window closed.

Admitting his surprise, Zabaleta told Spanish newspaper AS: "He (Robinho) was keen to play for Chelsea. He was like that all summer - negotiating, pressuring and fighting for a move."

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