Manchester City have confirmed that Aymeric Laporte has had a successful operation on his knee after suffering an injury during Saturday’s 4-0 win over Brighton.
Aymeric Laporte had to be stretchered off in the first half at the Etihad after a nasty collision with Brighton defender Adam Webster and he looks set to be out for some time.
And following the surgery to repair cartilage and meniscus damage in Barcelona, the player will be out until the New Year, although no specific timescale has been put on the 25-year-old’s likely return to action.
With former captain Vincent Kompany leaving City at the end of last season to become the player-manager at Anderlecht, Pep Guardiola had been keen to add to his defensive options during the summer.
But City refused to match Leicester City’s asking price for Harry Maguire, who eventually joined their cross-town rivals Manchester United in a world-record £80million deal. That saw Guardiola enter the campaign without recruiting a replacement for Kompany.
As a result, Manchester City now have just two experienced central defenders – John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi for the opening half of the season. In fact, with Stones also making his way back after injury, Otamendi is the only senior centre-back who is fully fit and available.
Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho can be used as an emergency centre-back but the matter of fact is City must sign a new central defender in January.
Back in March, the Sun had claimed that City were interested in signing Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti in the summer. While a move didn’t materialise in the summer, Guardiola would be wise to reignite his interest in the Frenchman and sign him in the New Year.
Injuries and a loss of form restricted Samuel Umtiti to 14 La Liga appearances last season, and he has fallen down the pecking order at the Nou Camp.
Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet are preferred over the Frenchman, who is yet to feature for the Catalan club this season. So a chance for regular playing time could tempt him to join City.
One of the best defenders in Europe when fit, Umtiti has emerged as an excellent ball-playing defender since his move to Barcelona from Lyon. He is a tactically astute defender, who can be utilised not only in a deep defensive line but also in a high defensive line, where his aggression and doggedness help him cut out the spaces in the midfield.
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The World Cup winner is a real leader and can offer the much-needed solidity to the City backline, whilst his volumes of European experience could come handy as well.
Umtiti will be entering the prime stages of his career soon and should fit the billing at City. And if he can stay fit, he’ll be a valuable asset to Guardiola’s squad.