Manchester City’s quest to bolster their defence doesn’t seem to be heading to a conclusion anytime soon as the Sky Blues decided against going for any additions other than Gabriel Jesus, who was signed earlier on in the summer.
Pep Guardiola has been working overtime with his players to get them in tune with his strategies and his new tactics but it has proven to be more difficult as time has passed. The players, fresh at the start of the season got off the blocks quickly and racked up wins in the first 10 matches of the season in all competitions. But it was too good to last and teams started to expose the cracks which were slowly beginning to crop up.
While there was always the issue of City’s attack not taking their chances in matches, it was something which was expected to be sorted out over the course of the season but the issue with their defence and goalkeeping was something which was long standing and it was clear that they needed reinforcements to solve this particular conundrum.
City were beginning to be extremely easy to score against and it was becoming a trend where even a single attack on City’s goal resulted in them conceding. They began losing valuable points and there were a string of games at home which ended in 1-1 draws. The dwindling form and confidence of John Stones became a worrying factor and Kompany’s injury record and Kolarov’s inconsistencies made it clear that Pep needed better players at the back to set up the base on which his vision would finally be achieved.
And hence, reports linking them again to Aymeric Laporte does not seem to be a surprise at all. It is well documented that Pep Guardiola rates him highly. They were extremely close to a move for the French sensation last summer but the player decided to stay back at Athletic Bilbao which was a blow to the Sky Blues who had also missed out on Bonucci.
And although it is said that Laporte has a £55m release clause in his contract, it will not be putting City off in any way whatsoever. 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 up to the mark. He is comfortable with the ball at his feet and can carry the ball forward which is aided by his dribbling skills.
Alongside Stones, City will have two extremely bright talents on their hands and if nurtured carefully, they can become one of the best centre-back pairings in the world in due time.
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