Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany backed defender Eliaquim Mangala to eventually prove his worth in the Premier League.
The Frenchman, 24, made a £31.8million move from Porto to City in August last year, featuring 25 times in the league in his first season.
But Mangala has combined with Kompany to help Manuel Pellegrini’s men keep clean sheets against West Brom and Chelsea to start the new season.
Kompany believes Mangala, whose proposed loan move to Valencia is seemingly off, will prove himself.
“People always underestimate the hardship of this league. It is very rare, especially with a central defender, for someone to come in and dominate. It is very hard,” he said.
“Our defending against Chelsea was made easier by the fact we defended well as a team.
“We have a style of play where we play very high with a lot of space, so a lot of individual challenges are required.
“Because of that, it is only when the whole team works like we did that we get great defensive performances.”
City are top of the table after their first two outings, having claimed back-to-back 3-0 wins to start the season.
Kompany, who has scored in both wins, said it was strange to be labelled title favourites so early in the season, and he is unfazed.
“Usually we get written off a bit later in the season, then we come back,” he said.
“It is not a bad way to start, but for all of a sudden people to talk about us as favourites, why does it matter?
“I am happy for people to say Arsenal, Liverpool, [Manchester] United and Chelsea are the favourites. But if we keep playing like this, you won’t see any sad faces at this club.”