Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany warned new signing Kevin De Bruyne he would need to accept not always playing in the number 10 role.
The Belgium international and City’s record signing made his debut off the bench in his team’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.
Kompany said the attacking talent at Manuel Pellegrini’s disposal meant De Bruyne would need to be flexible when his opportunities presented themselves.
“We have so many players who can play centrally behind the striker,” he said.
“[Samir] Nasri is a great player, [David] Silva is a great player, [Raheem] Sterling, [Jesus] Navas.
“I think we have about five players in that position all equally strong, and then always it will be a little change. You will be left once, at right, behind the striker, I think that’s normal at this level.”
City’s win saw them remain four points clear at the top, but they are now 11 ahead of struggling Chelsea – who were expected to be their biggest threats for the title.
Kompany said his side were staying hungry despite their perfect start to the campaign, having won all five games without conceding.
“We are focused. There does not seem to be too much joy about winning games. It’s good that we win, but we just carry on,” he said.
“The main thing is that, although we have some great talent like Kevin De Bruyne, with some of the passes that he made, his work rate was also phenomenal. It’s not often that you see a player with the ability that he has and the same kind of work rate.
“We have seen the same with Raheem. It is something that will define our season – how much can we get the top players in our team to do the hard work.”