It has been suggested recently that Aymeric Laporte and Pep Guardiola now have a ‘fatally strained’ relationship at Manchester City following the Frenchman’s lack of first-team appearances in recent weeks.
Guardiola has put his faith in a centre-back partnership of John Stones and Ruben Dias for much of this season, which has resulted in City’s defensive form vastly improving, with the Citizens having kept eight clean sheets in their last 10 games in all competitions.
Therefore, if City’s impressive defensive record continues, it seems unlikely that Laporte will be able to force his way back into Guardiola’s starting team, especially with the Spanish manager having spoken publicly about the partnership Stones and Dias are forming at the back, saying:
“Ruben doesn’t make mistakes, he’s always focused. He’s helped us to be stronger, and his understanding with John is amazing. This is what keeps us in the race.”
However, you could argue that despite his impressive performances for the club since signing, he wouldn’t be missed too much if the Citizens did opt to cash in on him in the near future if the reports of his relationship with Guardiola are true.
City have Stones and Dias as first-choice centre-backs, with the likes of Nathan Ake and Eric Garcia available as backups, whilst they have the talented Taylor Harwood-Bellis coming through the academy.
Although Garcia looks likely to join Barcelona in the near future, if City were to bring in a replacement such as the linked David Alaba, it seems as if they would be well covered in the centre-back position.
Of course, Laporte is still an immensely talented player, with an article for These Football Times acknowledging the “world-class” centre-back for his role in City’s first team but if the reports are true and he no longer wants to work under Guardiola, then the club must consider moving him on before he becomes a disruptive influence in the dressing room.
And, in other news… “Incredibly talented” MCFC star is becoming Pep’s most important player; it’s not KDB