Manchester City are due to find out the extent of the knee injury suffered by Aymeric Laporte in the weekend’s win over Brighton at the Etihad Stadium.
The Daily Mail reported that the 25-year-old defender has flown to Barcelona to see specialist surgeon Dr Ramon Cugat and undergo scans on his knee.
Laporte fell to the ground in agony after a challenge from Adam Webster in the 4-0 win over Brighton and had to be taken off on a stretcher, as noted by Sky Sports.
Laporte was Manchester City’s record signing when he joined for £57m from Athletic Bilbao, as reported by BBC, and after making 13 appearances in his first half-season at the Etihad, he became a consistent presence in the team during 2018/19.
The French defender played in 35 Premier League games last season and 51 in all competitions, scoring five goals, and had started all four of their league matches so far in this campaign before his injury.
Laporte has shown tremendous composure in possession during his time at the Etihad, with a 92.3% passing success rate last season and 93.2% in the early weeks of this campaign. [via WhoScored.com]
That latter figure is the second-highest of Manchester City’s players to have played 100 or more minutes this season, with only Rodri surpassing him with 94%. [via WhoScored.com]
Laporte has won 2.5 aerial duels per game so far in 2019/20, second only to fellow centre-back Nicolas Otamendi with 2.7 per game, and has had the highest interceptions figure in Guardiola’s squad this term with two per game. [via WhoScored.com]
Defender John Stones could return from injury after the international break, as reported by Manchester Evening News, while midfielder Fernandinho told I News that he could play at centre-back if needed.
Both players have had higher passing success rates this season than Laporte (94.2% Stones, 93.3% Fernandinho), although both have played 90 minutes or fewer in the current league campaign. [via WhoScored.com]
While Laporte has averaged only one tackle per game, Stones won three in the 5-0 win over West Ham last month, while Fernandinho’s two successful aerial duels per game are not far behind Laporte’s average.
Laporte has proven himself to be an integral member of Manchester City’s line-up, given his near-constant presence last season and his impressive defensive statistics.
However, with Stones due to return soon and Fernandinho seeming capable of stepping into the defensive breach if needed, Guardiola has very solid options to slot in at centre-back in the Frenchman’s absence, so Manchester City could be able to manage fine without Laporte in the coming months.
Manchester City fans, is there adequate cover for Laporte or will the team suffer in his absence? Let us know your views in the comments section below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!