Pablo Zabaleta has had his future assured by Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini, despite making just seven appearances this season.
The popular right-back has 18 months remaining on his current contract but has seen his campaign hampered by knee injuries.
Bacary Sagna has made the full-back position his own in the Argentine’s absence, but Pellegrini insists Zabaleta remains an integral part of City’s make-up.
“I think Pablo has been a very important player for this team and he continues now being a very important player,” said the 62-year-old. “And I’m sure that in the future he will continue to be.”
The Chilean added: “Pablo had a very difficult season because two ligament injuries in his right knee.
“So it was not easy for him to recover his best performance.
“But he’s started playing some games, he did very well the other day against Crystal Palace and he’s one of the players I trust a lot.
“Also Bacary is having a very good season so in that position I don’t have any problems.”