Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says his side would not be so comfortably at the top of the Premier League table if not for the performances of Argetine defender Nicolas Otamendi.
Stars such as Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Raheem Sterling have stolen the show at City this season due to their attacking performances, but a lot has to be said for the defence which has stood equally as strong for the Sky Blues.
And although Otamendi, who was signed by City from Valencia, has had his fair share of critics during his tenure at the club, this season he has been solid – scoring goals in the process.
Guardiola has echoed praise of the defender, saying their dominance would not be possible without him.
“Without Nico it would not have been possible what we have done,” said Guardiola.
“Everybody has spoken about a lot of players like Raheem, Kevin, Sergio [Aguero], they deserve it, but if I can point some attention to a player who deserves the respect is Nico.
“He has been amazing – he is one of the hugest competitors I have ever seen in my life.
“I cannot imagine the situation we are in at the moment in terms of the table without him. It would have been impossible.”
[Quotes via Sky Sports]
Otamendi’s performances for the club have been made even better due to City’s defensive injuries, with centre-backs John Stones and Vincent Kompany currently sidelined as well as full-backs Mendy and Delph.