Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte features today a good interview with Manchester City new signing Yan Couto.
Despite having his transfer made official back in March, the fullback still hasn’t been able to make his move to England due to the Coronavirus pandemic. He claims to be ‘anxious’ to finally join the Manchester City squad.
“I’m training at Curitiba, keeping my fitness. I don’t have a date, I’m waiting for the season to end. It’ll probably be in August, September. It’s a bad situation because my family and I are anxious to get going soon and solving it. And I’m looking forward to adapting to the new club”, Yan Couto told Globo Esporte.
“I got to know some of the people, the club, but there are still a lot of people to meet and become friends with them. I met Pep Guardiola, Gabriel Jesus, Éderson, Agüero… I haven’t even talked to everyone yet, but it was great to see how they are. I thought they would be more egotistic, but they are good people and I was super happy with the way they received me.”
Yan Couto is only 18, and was asked if he thinks he’ll soon have a place to play at Manchester City. He’s revealed that playing is his main goal, and that’s why he nearly rejected the Premier League side.
“Right at the beginning of negotiations with City, first hand, they wanted to loan me out. But it wasn’t what I wanted and so I had a preference for Bayern and Barcelona, who would use me in the first team.
“When it was all right to go to Barça, I had already decided, at the last minute Pep saw my games, he really liked my style of play, what I did at the World Cup.
“Then my representative at City, Cadu, asked why I was going to Barça… So he managed to get me to the first team at City and go to play with Pep, that I had the opportunity to do the pre-season with Guardiola.
“I know that I’m young, that they have great national team players in the squad, I know that I have to be patient, that I have to evolve, adapt in Europe, but I think that in a short time I may be playing, entering games, playing in Cups.”
Asked if he’s already spoken to manager Pep Guardiola, Yan Couto said: “I had a conversation with him, at City, after a training session that I went to follow. He came to talk to me, welcomed me, was very happy with my choice. He said that I’m a great player, that I’m very promising.
“He also said that I have to practice my English, which has to be better than Gabriel Jesus’ when he arrived (laughs). He was really, really happy. Then Fernando and Gabriel arrived and we talked together. I can’t wait to be with them. I confess I was a little nervous, we see it in the video game, on television.”
And he claims he’s already been taking English classes so the manager won’t ask about that again.
Yan comes from Paraná, the same Brazilian State where Fernandinho was born. Perhaps that’s the reason why the midfielder was the one who welcomed him at Manchester City.
“Fernandinho, among the Brazilians, was the one I had the most contact with. In December, I got to have dinner with him. In February he asked me to go to his house. He’s a super charismatic guy, he always sends me a message, I confess I didn’t expect it and today I can already say that he’s my friend. He has a lot of experience, he left Paraná early, he has a great history and I’m very happy that he’s welcoming me, to open the doors of his house like this for me.”
Finally, quizzed about the fullbacks he admires, Yan Couto said: “Fullbacks that I see playing like me, there’s Daniel Alves who has a giant history in football, Marcelo who plays on the other side. There’s Rafinha, who played here at Coritiba too. But the guy I see that I play similarly is Cicinho, an attacking fullback, who played at a high level, made it to the national team and to Real Madrid.
“Dani also has many titles and a history in the national team. And I have the same goals as them, to reach the national team, to be the best fullback in the world, to be a champion of the Champions League, nothing is impossible. I think we have to dream big”.