Manchester City blow with defender out for six-months

Manchester City has been dealt a blow as manager Pep Guardiola has confirmed defender Aymeric Laporte faces up to six months out after undergoing knee surgery.

Laporte who had just gotten his first French call-up damaged cartilage and the lateral meniscus in his right knee after a clash with Brighton in City’s 4-0 win on August 31 before the international break.

Guardiola confirmed the Frenchman will not return before next year and could even miss the start to the knockout stages of the Champions League in February, should the English champions advance to the last 16.

“Long (time). Five months, six months,” said Guardiola when asked how long he expected to be without his defensive lynchpin.

“Next year (for) sure. January or February.”

Vincent Kompany who captained City last season, however, said he trusted Guardiola to find the solution.

“By losing Laporte you lose a big player. You need big players in the bigger games but the key strength of this Manchester City team is relying more on the system than the individuals,” said the Belgian.

“I don’t see City weakening. Pep is way too aware of this danger to let it happen.”

Midfielder Fernandinho is expected to be used at the heart of the defence with John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi the only two senior centre-backs available to Guardiola.

ken Nzuki

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