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Man City can replace injured Nathan Ake with Luke Mbete

Manchester City are suffering from something of an injury crisis at centre-back, but Pep Guardiola may already have the solution in 18-year-old Luke Mbete.

Aymeric Laporte is already a long-term absentee for the Citizens and there was concern at the weekend when Nathan Ake was forced off against Newcastle United, as it leaves just Ruben Dias and John Stones as the senior options in Guardiola’s side.

The Spanish manager confirmed that Ake had injured his groin in the 3-3 draw against the Toon but it is unclear how long he will be out for, while Laporte is still recovering from knee surgery so is unlikely to return to first-team action any time soon.

This leaves City in a precarious situation and while the transfer window is still open should Guardiola want to bring in extra cover, the former Barcelona boss should feel confident in Mbete as a potential replacement for Ake.

The teenage centre-back is earning rave reviews in City’s academy and has already appeared three times for the first team, including in the Champions League against Sporting Lisbon last season.

Should Mbete be given a chance?

Yes

Yes

No

No

The Athletic’s Sam Lee named him as the youngster to watch at Manchester City in 2021, suggesting that:

“He is tall and fast, but perhaps his most eye-catching trait is his passing. All City centre-backs need to be good on the ball, of course, but he is not merely comfortable, he is genuinely creative and likes to play searching passes in behind the opposition defence.”

Guardiola spoke highly of the youngster last season, saying:

“He trained with us for a long time. His application is really high. He’s still young but tomorrow he’ll be in the team and maybe we’ll need him.”

The academy star was linked with a move to Leeds United this summer but Guardiola may well be glad he kept him around considering his current predicament.

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If Ake is sidelined for a while and Guardiola feels the need to rotate his side as we approach a two-game a week schedule, then he should put his faith in Mbete, as he looks to have all the attributes needed to succeed at the Etihad.

Article title: Man City can replace injured Nathan Ake with Luke Mbete

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