Aymeric Laporte

Manchester City is going to be without Aymeric Laporte for an extended period after he sustained a knee surgery.

Manchester City and Spain defender Aymeric Laporte will be out for a couple of months after being stretchered off in their 4-0 win over Brighton last weekend.

Laporte was said to have damaged his cartilage and lateral meniscus after going in a challenge with Brighton defender Adam Webster. After he left the field, he had surgery on his right knee in Barcelona, Spain.

The surgery was a success, and City has estimated that the 25-year-old could be out for up to three months.

An absence of up to three months will have a huge impact on Pep Guardiola’s side as City aim to become the first team to win three consecutive English Premier League titles since 2009.

Pep Guardiola has often described Aymeric Laporte as “the best left-sided centre-back in Europe,” because of his ability to play out from the back and defend.

Guardiola had at first tried to sign him in the summer transfer window of 2016, but his offer was turned down. Nevertheless, he finally joined City from Athletic Bilbao for a fee of £57 million in January 2018.

Laporte was a key player in Manchester City’s title triumph last season. He made 35 league appearances last season, and only Bernardo Silva was the only City outfield player to play more matches.

The injury will also rule him out of a probable first-team debut for France after he had earned a call up by Coach Didier Deschamps for the Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Albania and Andorra.

Guardiola has quite a few options as a backup for Laporte. They include Fernandinho, John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi, Eric Garcia, Rodri and Kyle Walker.

Stones and Otamendi are the only natural center-backs that can fill in. However, Pep has said that he will play Fernandinho, who is a holding player, as a centre back.  Fernandinho has previously played as a central defender, while Rodri, who is also a midfielder, can also be deployed in the role.

The coach also has some exciting youngsters at his disposal like Academy products Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis.

It will be a challenge for City to cope without Laporte in the coming months.

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This article is brought to us by our Sports Writers Club resident columnist – Collins Michael Nwokolo. Follow him on Twitter and Pinterest.