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Robinho prepares for Manchester City debut

September 12, 2008 16:55 IST
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Robinho will make his debut for Manchester City against fellow big spenders Chelsea in their Premier League match on Saturday, City manager Mark Hughes said on Thursday.

Robinho is yet to train with City since joining the club from Real Madrid for 32.5 million pounds at the end of August because of international commitments with Brazil.

After flying back from South America following Brazil's goalless draw with Bolivia on Wednesday, the 24-year-old forward is in line to face the club that also tried to buy him.

"The intention is that he plays a part [on Saturday]," Hughes told reporters.

"The one impression that I think everybody has of Robinho when you see him play is that as soon as he gets the ball you sense something is going to happen and I think everyone will see that at the weekend."

Robinho had also been a transfer target for league leaders Chelsea but City's new-found wealth, secured by the proposed takeover of the club by an Abu Dhabi-based company, allowed them to pull off a notable coup.

"On the day I met him in London, one of the first things he said was that he can't wait for the game because he can't wait to play against Chelsea, so that's a good sign," said Hughes.

"We are very hopeful that he settles very quickly and the fact that he has Brazilian team mates [Jo and Elano] around him will help him.

"Obviously, expectations will rise because we have a world class player who will ply his trade with City and we are delighted with that."

Hughes has heard Saturday's game billed as the "clash of the cash" but despite the excitement generated by the buy-out, the City manager stressed it may still take time to deliver success at a club which has not won a major trophy since 1976.

"There are comparisons between where we are and maybe a similar situation at Chelsea when Mr [Roman] Abramovich came in with a huge amount of money," said Hughes.

"[But] the stage we are at with the introduction of the amount of money we are going to receive is different to the stage where Chelsea were.

"We want to get where we want to get very, very quickly but I think there is a little bit of realism that has to be attached to what we are trying to do.

"It's something you have to build from within. You have to build not only a team but a club as well and I'm very conscious that's what I want to do as well."

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