When Manchester City confirmed on May 19th, 2019 that Vincent Kompany was leaving the club after more than a decade at the Etihad Stadium to become player/manager at Anderlecht, he could hardly have chosen a better way in which to go out.
The previous day, his final game for the club was an FA Cup final victory over Watford, sealing a domestic treble just a week after Manchester City retained their Premier League title having already won the Carabao Cup.
Two weeks before announcing his departure, Kompany scored a stupendous long-range goal to give Pep Guardiola’s side a narrow 1-0 win over Leicester that ultimately proved pivotal in them winning the league by a point from Liverpool.
These Manchester City fans on Twitter shared their appreciation for the Belgium defender upon learning of his departure from the Etihad:
Pain is all I feel right now to see u leave man. Success on your next adventure. Thanks for leading us through our journey to success @VincentKompany
— EmperorsQuinn24 (@FunmiMCFC) May 19, 2019
I’m a bud devostated that the club chose not to let us know he would be leaving so we could have a chance to say goodbye like we did with Yaya & Zabba. I get he wanted to focus on the games and not make it about him, which is why he’s the greatest leader of our times.
— Mr. Aguia (@mr_aguia) May 19, 2019
I want to cry
— Amy (@willbuxton2004) May 19, 2019
We love you Vinnie
— Jordan (@JamyFPS) May 19, 2019
Great player and will be greatly missed by all the fans good luck vinny for the future always a blue
— Tracy Evans (@tracyopenshaw) May 19, 2019
WE ARE NOT READY VINNIE!
— Jenny (@orchid_mcfc) May 19, 2019
Kompany’s exit and the lack of centre-back signings over the summer meant that Manchester City started the season with just three senior centre-backs in Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.
Stones has already missed some of the season through injury, as reported by Manchester Evening News, while The Guardian claimed that Laporte faces six months on the sidelines after incurring a serious knee against Brighton recently.
While Stones returned for the weekend’s game against Norwich to line up alongside Otamendi, both players endured difficult moments as the champions fell to a 3-2 defeat at Carrow Road, the former guilty of wayward passing and the latter being easily dispossessed in the build-up to Teemu Pukki’s goal. [via Sky Sports]
A muscle injury played a big part in limiting Kompany to just 17 Premier League appearances last season, with Manchester City conceding only 10 goals in those games (0.59 goals per game). In the 21 league games without the 33-year-old centre-back, they let in 13 goals (0.62 goals per game). [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
This season, the champions have already conceded six Premier League goals in just five matches (1.2 goals per game) following the departure of Kompany in May.
Manchester City had been linked with Harry Maguire over the summer as a possible replacement for the Belgium international, with Manchester Evening News reporting of their interest in him before he eventually joined Manchester United for £80m, a world-record fee for a defender [as per BBC].
Even though Kompany was not a regular starter for Manchester City last season, their goal concession figures indicate that their defence was more solid with him in it, while in 265 Premier League appearances he only twice committed errors that led to goals while scoring 18 at the other end.
Guardiola’s failure to bring in a centre-back and Laporte’s subsequent long-term injury has left Manchester City looking very threadbare in that position and while Kompany may have gone out on a real high, hindsight suggests that the champions ought to have had a replacement secured before the 33-year-old left the club.
Manchester City fans, was last May the right time for Kompany to leave the club or should they have tried to persuade him to stay on for another couple of years? Join in the discussion by commenting below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!