With Vincent Kompany’s departure from Manchester City, and the future of Nicolas Otamendi still up in the air, the time has now come for Aymeric Laporte to step up to the role of City’s number one centre-back.
No-one needs convincing of Laporte’s abilities and he’s shown more than enough to warrant his £57 million price tag. Since his arrival in January 2018, Laporte has slotted into the Manchester City back line with ease and is seen as one of the best central defenders in the Premier League. His calmness on the ball and his ability to pass it out into attacking areas makes him the perfect Pep Guardiola player in the defensive position.
He also has the knack of scoring some important goals as proven this season. His equaliser at Wolves early in the season, his opening goal at Goodison Park, and most recently his crucial goal at Brighton which fired us into the lead in the final week of a hard fought Premier League season.
Also, when called upon to play an left-back position, he has excelled effortlessly. Especially in the home fixture against Liverpool. Mohammed Salah was invisible for the vast majority of the match under the close watch of Aymeric Laporte. Arsenal at home was yet another example of his versatility in this position, with the Frenchmen moving to a left back position when defending allowing Guardiola to play with Fernandinho, Gundogan, David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva in a packed midfield.
It’s safe to say that Laporte has been an imposing figure for Manchester City this season. But how will the absence of Vincent Kompany, Laporte’s defensive partner for the last period of the season, and the potential departure of Nicolas Otamendi, another regular defensive figure, affect the Frenchman and his position at City?
Well, it would be safe to assume that Laporte will be Pep’s number one defensive option for next season. But it would also be safe to assume that there will be rotation in that central defensive pairing as there was throughout the 2018/19 campaign.
The first option would be John Stones, who was once pipped as Manchester City’s future captain and defensive talisman. But as of this moment, it is widely reported that City are in the market for another centre back to fill in the void left by Vincent Kompany.
Could this new signing be Laporte’s new long-term defensive partner? Or will Pep Guardiola stick with a rotational strategy once again? Whatever the outcome, despite only completing a season and a half with Manchester City, and winning six trophies in that time. It is likely that Aymeric Laporte will be holding on to his defensive position for a long time to come at the Etihad Stadium.