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Vieira warns: I’m playing as well as ever

NEW Manchester City signing Patrick Vieira says he is a better player now than he was when he left the Premier League four-and-a-half years ago.

The 33-year-old has rejoined his former Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini after penning a six-month loan deal at Eastlands.

Critics believe the French international is well past his best and a shadow of the player who helped Arsenal land a string of trophies around the turn of the millennium.

But Vieira has hit back, insisting he is actually a better player now than when he left the Gunners for a stint in Italy with Juventus and then Inter.

“I am a better player for the experiences I have had,” Vieira said. “You get better with experience and age and I have been really lucky to play at big clubs.

“I have learned a lot around big-name players and I have come back to the Premier League a better player than I used to be.”

Vieira has also likened Mancini to Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger, insisting both have similar philosophies in their approach. “They both like to work on the pitch and like to be next to the players,” he added.

“They manage players and believe in communication. That is really good and I regard it as a compliment that I am the first player Mancini has brought to City.

“Mancini is a winner. He is a really ambitious man. He came here because he knows he can achieve something.

“He will do everything for the team to be successful and win games.”

Vieira will make his City debut against Blackburn tonight providing he can recover from a niggling calf injury.