Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has backed Joe Hart to bounce back after being relegated to the bench by new Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola has selected Willy Caballero in his first two competitive matches with City and the rumoured arrival of Claudio Bravo is unlikely to aid Hart’s chances of recovering the No.1 jersey.
But Buffon believes the England international has the resilience to reclaim his place, as he did when dropped by Manuel Pellegrini during the 2013-14 season.
“[Hart] has been in this position before, he was dropped two or three seasons back, and then when he returned he played some of the best football of his career,” the veteran told Goal.
“The ability is there, we know he has that, but just as importantly he has character – and that is one of the most important qualities you can have as a goalkeeper.”
Buffon, who is currently the most expensive goalkeeper in history, believes one of the best stoppers on the planet will be on the market if Hart is allowed to leave the Etihad Stadium.
“He has consistently over the last 5 or 6 seasons shown he is among the best goalkeepers in the world,” he said.
“De Gea and Neuer are the two outstanding goalkeepers right now, after that there is not anybody who is on an obvious higher level than Hart.
“He has many years of being a great goalkeeper ahead of him – no matter if they are at Manchester City or anywhere else.”