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Guardiola challenges 'special' Laporte to earn Man City starting spot as Dias & Stones flourish
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Guardiola challenges 'special' Laporte to earn Man City starting spot as Dias & Stones flourish

20-Jan-2021, 12:08 am

Aymeric Laporte Manchester City 2019-20

Pep Guardiola has challenged Aymeric Laporte to rediscover his best form and force his way back into Manchester City’s team.

Summer signing Ruben Dias has emerged as the new leader of City’s watertight back four alongside a revitalised John Stones. Guardiola’s side have the best defensive record in the league with just 13 goals conceded in 17 games, while Laporte has struggled for form and fitness.

“It depends on him, the quality is there,” Guardiola said on his potential return to the first XI.

“He has to be in top form and have his mind open. He’s the best left-sided defender we have, he has special quality with the ball.

“He has to be focused to come back in the best condition possible and he will get his minutes. After, it depends on his performance like it depends on the form of everyone.”

City are hoping to go to the top of the table with a win at home to Aston Villa on Wednesday, a fixture Laporte is set to miss with a hamstring issue.

However, he could return for Saturday’s trip to League Two side Cheltenham in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

“It would be good news – we need him, like we need Nathan Ake, Eric Garcia,” Guardiola said.

“We have been really good in defence except in the game against Leicester a 5-2 loss at the start of the season.

“Many things help you to be champions but if one or two of these drop a little bit then it’s difficult to do it. You need to be good in set pieces, up front, defensively, in the transitions: many aspects are needed, private life of the players, the physical form, being in a good mood.

“The only concern is Villa. We don’t know which players will be available tomorrow. We’ll see in the line-up. But the quality they’ve shown this season compared to last season is incredible.


Source : goal.com

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