Ilkay Gundogan says Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden know they are not guaranteed Manchester City starts upon their returns from injury.

The trio have been struck down over the past few weeks, with De Bruyne contracting coronavirus, whilst Grealish suffering a knock while on international duty and Foden picking up an injury against Everton.

Despite the absence of their playmaker and two wingers, Pep Guardiola's side has shown no signs of slowing down, having beaten Everton and West Ham as well as coming from behind to topping Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Grealish was almost an ever-present before his injury, having arrived in the summer for £100million, but Gundogan says every player knows they must re-earn their place in the team.

“It just shows we have a lot of quality and that there are a lot more things to come from us. Of course the challenge, the rivalry between those players is always a benefit for the team," Gundogan said.

"Everyone knows they have to be at their best to get into the first XI and also when everyone is fit, you have to accept that you might have to sit on the bench as other players are there who have the quality to play.

"If they train well every single day on the training pitch, that’s also crucial. So we just don’t need 11 great players on the pitch. We also need the great ones who sometimes need to be outside.

"It’s not always easy to accept that role but it’s crucial to win the biggest games and titles."

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