Hughes: SWP is even better than I thought

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Revitalised Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips has given manager Mark Hughes more than he bargained for since returning to his spiritual home.

Hughes splashed out £9million to end Wright-Phillips' Chelsea frustration when he brought the 27-year-old back to City from Stamford Bridge in August.

Hughes said: "The one thing that struck me since we were able to bring him back to the club is that he's actually a lot better player than even I thought he was."

The City boss continued: "People don't really appreciate the quality he has until you actually seem it first hand in the way he applies himself and the effect that he can have on the game in a positive manner."

Wright-Phillips has been denied a head-to-head confrontation with England rival Theo Walcott when Arsenal visit City this weekend as the Arsenal youngster has been ruled out for three months following shoulder surgery.

The two are vying to fill England's highly sought-after right-sided midfield berth, along with David Bentley, Ashley Young and David Beckham, and Hughes believes his man is good enough to win the fight for Capello's affections.

Hughes added: "He has to keep playing as well as he has been doing this year but there's no reason why he can't continue with the current form he's producing because he's a very talented player.

"We are really pleased that people maybe once again are sitting up and taking notice of Shaun because he deserves it because of the quality of his play."

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Manchester City
David Beckham
Mark Hughes
Premier League
Ashley Young
David Bentley
Mark Hughes
Shaun Wright-Phillips
Theo Walcott

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