Phil Foden believes Jack Grealish's "fearless" approach will help Manchester City in their bid to retain the Premier League title, adding he hopes his own time on the sidelines will fly by so that he can link-up with his new team-mate soon.
A foot injury means Foden will miss the start of the Premier League season, with City beginning their title defence at Tottenham on Sunday - live on Sky Sports.
Grealish will be in line to start after his £100m move from Aston Villa, and after becoming close friends in the England set-up, Foden is eager to recover from an injury that is likely to rule him out until September.
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"We are close, when I first went to England we just got on really well on and off the pitch. I'm really happy he's signed here," Foden told Sky Sports News at a 'Premier League Kicks' event, a programme which works in local communities to inspire thousands of young people.
"He's fearless on the ball. He can just change a game on his own, so I believe that he's a really special player and he's going to be key for us.
"Hopefully I can get back playing with him and enjoy my football. It's still a little bit sore [the foot]. It was such a shame to do it before the Euro final, but I'm working hard in the gym. Hopefully it flies by and I can get back on the pitch."
On the competition for places, Foden added: "The manager likes to rotate, and there's a lot of games to be played. I'm sure there won't be one XI for the full year. Everyone's going to play a part. Everyone is happy about that, they're ready to play and the manager makes us feel loved."
Foden acknowledges City will be the team to beat this season as reigning champions, but he is confident they can retain the title despite a number of clubs strengthening this summer.
"Once you've won it it's really hard to retain it, going into this season we're going to be the team to beat," Foden said. "We will have to live up to that with the players we've got. I'm confident and can't wait to go."
Asked if Chelsea or Liverpool are City's main rivals, he added: "I don't really know, there's so many great teams, that's the fun of the Premier League. I couldn't give you one opponent, everyone has strengthened, it's going to be a really challenging season."
Foden: I burst into tears over missing Euro final
Foden also opened up about the disappointment of missing England's Euro 2020 final against Italy, and despite the defeat on penalties he believes it will strengthen their belief going into next year's World Cup.
"I remember speaking to the manager when I got injured and just burst out crying - the devastation that I was injured," Foden said.
"But I was just praying on the day that the team won, it's just unfortunate that we didn't. We have to be proud of ourselves, what we did, we created history getting to a final and the next time we go into a major tournament it can only help us.
"[After the final] it was so good to see how together everyone was in the changing room. It was a special moment to share with the team. Come the World Cup, those experiences at Wembley can only help us."
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