Manchester City’s defensive issues have been well documented in recent past and it is something which has pestered and hindered their progress in recent times. Nicolas Otamendi might come out and say that Aleks Kolarov is one of the best centre-backs in the world right now but rest assured, not many people will be buying into that.
Considered too easy to bully and hence too easy to score against, the defence has been their Achilles heel this season along with many seasons in the recent past. But with Pep Guardiola in the hot seat, we will be more worried about things happening in the present. The Catalan was expected to bring sweeping changes to the backline in the summer but a couple of unsuccessful pursuits aligned with his surprising decision to go ahead with the injury prone Kompany, the reckless Otamendi and the new addition- John Stones who was guilty of accounting for the most of number of points conceded from a mistake last season.
A mixture of raw talent and injury prone personnel took the pitch for the supposed Pep-revolution at the Etihad. And as per design things haven’t been smooth. Kompany has already been injured twice and there are huge question marks over his or rather his body’s ability to take it forward as a professional footballer. Stones is taking more time than expected to settle and it has been one step forward and two steps back for him. This has resulted in Otamendi being the main man along with the surprising presence of Kolarov alongside him forming the centre-back pairing. And just the sound of the combo has a jarring ring to it.
Along with us, even Pep has realised it and hence the apparent need to strengthen the defence in summer.
A report states that Manchester City will be back in summer for their No.1 defensive target, Aymeric Laporte even though he had turned down the Sky Blues in the summer and had signed a new contract with Bilbao.
The new contract has a release clause of £55m inserted into it but it is something which hasn’t put the Citizens off the track. They are said to be unperturbed by the new developments and are willing to shell out the moolah as Pep sees him as the ideal long-term partner for former Evertonian who was signed for £47m in the summer.
The 22-year old is seen as one of the brightest defensive prospects in France even though he hasn’t yet made his full debut. He is strong in the air and his passing and tackling are also his USP. He is comfortable with the ball at his feet and can carry the ball forward which is aided by his dribbling skills.
City will have two extremely bright talent on their hands and if nurtured carefully, they can become of the best centre-back pairing in the world in due time.
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