An already bad situation has got a whole lot worse for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side, who are now staring down the barrel of five painful weeks without another one of their starters.
John Stones joins the injured Aymeric Laporte, who’s set to be out of action until January after being carried off in City’s 4-0 victory over Brighton at the beginning of the campaign, after it was reported that the Englishman suffered an injury training for the upcoming Champions League game against Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk.
Nicolas Otamendi is now City’s only recognised central defender, and if his performance at the weekend against Norwich City if anything to go by, the champions might find themselves in trouble as they try to defend their title for the third consecutive season.
The 31-year-old was partly responsible for Teemu Pukki’s second-half goal, though Guardiola has since exonerated him.
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Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and on reflection City probably should have made a more concerted effort to replace outbound Vincent Kompany during the summer transfer window.
Harry Maguire was linked with a move from Leicester City, which would’ve gone some way towards bolstering their options, but after weeks of hesitating, he eventually moved to rivals Manchester United. Now City are paying the price.
M.E.N journalist Samuel Luckhurst didn’t hold back when reviewing the catastrophic error of judgement…
If City hadn’t maintained their warped moral stance of not spending big on individuals (whilst spending nearly £600m in the Guardiola era), they’d have another centre-back. Uncharacteristically dithered over Maguire https://t.co/XhA2I3hFw9
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) September 17, 2019