Former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore does not believe that the injury sustained by Aymeric Laporte against Brighton will damage Manchester City’s chances of winning the Premier League title.
The Citizens have confirmed that the Frenchman has undergone successful surgery to fix damage to the lateral meniscus and cartilage in his right knee, but Collymore believes City have other players who will step up in his absence:
“I know one or two people say Aymeric Laporte’s injury makes Liverpool title favourites now but I’m not one of them. Manchester City have the best squad in the Premier League, and players who can come into the starting line-up and do their jobs at nine out of 10 rather than six or seven.”
“So the key question is now whether City can cope without Laporte but whether or not Liverpool have the squad depth and ability to push on if Virgil van Dijk or Allison were to get bad injuries. We’re also reading too much into the fact Liverpool have won every game this season while City have dropped points.”
“Remember, Liverpool were in the driving seat last time out before City went on their great run and pipped them to the title. Pep Guardiola’s men might lose more matches than Jurgen Klopp’s again but I’m still backing them to win more.”
City have not revealed publicly how long Laporte will be out for but reports suggest that he will not be back in first-team action until the New Year.
It will mean Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones will have to play most of the games, although Fernandinho did perform well in the role when he started at centre-back last weekend.
Manager Pep Guardiola has suggested Kyle Walker may have to deputise in Laporte’s absence while youngster Eric Garcia could also be in contention.