Aymeric Laporte: City’s Invisible Rock
If you ever wanted to throw a foreign player right into the deep end of stereotypical English football grounds, Aymeric Laporte is probably the man to ask.
In the space of his first sixteen days, The French defender had already taken on Burnley and Wigan Athletic, hardly teams who play football Laporte would have experienced when at previous club Athletic Bilbao.
His experiences at Turf Moor and The DW have most probably been forgotten. The form he is in currently, no City fan will remember Laporte’s slightly rocky start in English football.
Seven months on and City’s January buy is playing in near enough the form of his life. His performance against Fulham last Saturday was as good as it gets. With the ball, his pass completion rate was 95.7% and won 75% of his individual battles.
Add to that a further two clean sheets and a goal at Wolves, its been harder to find a better player in a sky blue shirt this season. At a joint high of six appearances, the Frenchman has fitted the demands of playing in a Guardiola system.
We all know the demands of playing in a defence managed by the Catalan. He doesn’t expect row Z defenders, he wants players as good with their feet as they are in 50/50 challenges. Laporte has done everything that the above states. His defensive ability is probably the best of City’s centre-back quartet, yet only one bad game and Laporte can find himself watching with his tracksuit on.
With John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi as his rivals as well as teammates, one slip up and two of these defenders will be more than ready to take his place. One of which is the club Captain and fans favourite, the other was in last seasons team of the season.
In my view, Stones compliments Laporte the best, they look a ready-made partnership and fit Guardiola’s blueprint the best of any.
Perhaps that’s the biggest compliment to Aymeric Laporte. He’s keeping out Kompany and Otamendi which is no mean feat, let’s not forget they were City’s best centre-back partnership last season in the one hundred points title-winning season.
For all our sakes, let’s hope old Laporte can keep up this form. Nobody has mentioned how much he cost the club as of yet, surely that’s a good sign!