Vincent Kompany believes that Gareth Barry is an "incredible player" who will help inspire Manchester City to clean sheets once again.
The Premier League champions have conceded seven times in four games this season while Barry, 31, has sat out the start of the season after undergoing a hernia operation.
The England midfielder could make his return to the City side for the September 23 game against Arsenal, after appearing twice for the club's Elite Development Squad - something Kompany, 26, sees as much-needed news.
"Gareth is an incredible player and we've missed him and we will obviously welcome him back," Kompany told the club's official website. "But while we've conceded goals this season, we proved last season that we did well because offensively we scored so many goals."
In Barry's absence, the job of shielding the defence has been shared between Jack Rodwell and Nigel de Jong but the Dutchman has now been sold to AC Milan, leaving a vacancy for the ex-Villa man, or new signing Javi Garcia, to fill.
Despite the lack of clean sheets Kompany feels City have been unfortunate to concede two goals each against Chelsea, Southampton and Liverpool, plus one to QPR.
"We generally give very few chances away, but when we have so far in the opening weeks we've been unlucky because teams have punished us, though I think we have defended well overall," Kompany said.
However, the Belgium international does concede that City have room for improvement, contrasting their start to the season with a flying beginning 12 months ago.
"We have seven points out of nine and have won the Community Shield against Chelsea so things haven't started too badly," he added. "We have had some really good periods in games, but there are areas we need to work a bit harder on. We're not dismantling teams at present like we were at this stage last season."