How Manchester City can line-up without Laporte
Manchester City had another fairly comfortable afternoon at the Etihad last weekend, as they put 4 goals past Brighton. However, there was one little worry since Aymeric Laporte had to get substituted after what looked like a serious knee injury.
Laporte had just been called up to the French national team for the first time in his career and this will be a personal blow to him. City have the most bulked-up squad in the league, however, meaning if anyone can manage without a player like Laporte, it has to be them.
Here are 3 means by which they could reduce the damage of his loss
- Play Otamendi on the left
This is, of course, the easiest way to replace Laporte. In the 2017/18 season, Nicolas Ottamendi had his best season to date, playing on the left side, where he could open his body up and join the midfield as he’s very good at driving forward with the ball.
John Stones can play on the right as he has for most of his career. The only worry here is that while Stones and Ottamendi are very good technically, neither of them have a great range of passing.
- Play Fernandinho at centre-back
Pep Guardiola did use Fernandino in the centre-back position many times last season, most famously in the home game against Arsenal, where he moved to the midfield in possession and was in a centre-back position when out of possession.
The Brazilian is an extremely intelligent player and it wouldn’t be a problem as Ilkay Gundogan and Rodri are more than capable of playing in that holding midfield position that Guardiola values so highly.
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- Play a three-man backline
Kyle Walker has been used as a third centre-back quite often by Gareth Southgate and the Englishman has been in fine form at the start of this season and could do the same for Pep Guardiola.
This would also allow their new signing, Joao Cancelo, to play as a marauding wing-back since he’s extremely good going forward.
The Portuguese International hasn’t shown what he’s capable of yet. Thus, this is a perfect opportunity for him to show people just what he’s about.