TV pundit Gary Neville believes the injury to Aymeric Laporte could cost Manchester City points in the title race this season.
The Frenchman injured his knee when fouling Brighton’s Adam Webster in the 4-0 win on Saturday, and it is believed the injury could keep him out for a while. Neville thinks it will be a big loss for the Citizens:
“I think this will cost City points. To be fair, there is no one better in the world at coaching than Pep Guardiola, full stop. And there is no one better at making what would be make-shift centre-backs play well”
“What I would say is that if Laporte is out for a long time, I think it will cost City points because he is a dominant centre-back. I saw him in Spain three times and he’s a great player. It’s a real worry for City.”
Neville can’t understand why City didn’t go toe to toe with Manchester United for Harry Maguire to replace the departing Vincent Kompany:
“Maguire would’ve been ideal. Manchester United did well to get him but I am surprised City didn’t really go for him alongside United. Maybe they did and they just pulled out because of the money in the end or whatever it was.”
“I just think with Kompany leaving, he was Belgian, but he was an old-fashioned throw your head at it centre-back in both boxes that when you go to certain grounds in the Premier League you play.”
As Neville says, Guardiola‘s track record does suggest he can make the most of makeshift options at the back, but he would certainly prefer it if Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones stay fit.
Stones has missed the last three matches with a muscular problem but the England international is expected to return to action after the international break. City face Norwich City at Carrow Road in their next game.