Pep Guardiola has declared he will resist any temptation to bring Aymeric Laporte back to action and will wait on the Manchester City medical staff to give him the green light. Laporte is coming through training sessions without discomfort having returned to full training with the rest of his the City squad earlier this week. While premier league fans can only speculate if his absence is the reason but in his absence, City have struggled defensively and find themselves 14 points behind Liverpool.
Pep Guardiola said “He’s training every day, he feels no pain and after training he feels good, [but] I don’t know when he’ll be ready to play some minutes. I’m not the doctor, what I see on the pitch is he moves well, his movement, for four or five months, he’s not a small guy like [Raheem] Sterling, who recovers quickly, but he moves really well and we’ll see what the doctor says about when he’s going to play. You have to respect the process and when both are ready they’ll be in contention and [we’ll be] thinking about when to use them”
During Laporte’s absence, Fernandinho has excelled as a makeshift central defender but he’s lacked a convincing partner, with Nicolas Otamendi inconsistent and John Stones suffering injury problems of his own. For the first time since Guardiola’s arrival, the gears of Guardiola’s finely calibrated system looked clunky.
Vincent Kompany left in the summer and John Stones did not feature for large part of first half of the season due to a muscle injury. Manchester City tried to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester during the summer as a replacement for Kompany but were eventually pipped to his signature by rivals Manchester United.
Manchester City have thrown away their Premier League title with a series of inept displays in the league, but they are close to league cup final, possibly could be retaining the Carabao Cup and FA Cup. If they are able to reach their peak levels in Europe and win the Champions League then City could still make this a great season. And that is why possibly Pep is not risking his defender…
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