Pep Guardiola has admitted he’s unsure as to whether Manchester City will sign a replacement for captain Vincent Kompany.
Kompany left City at the end of last season to become player-manager at former club Anderlecht, which means the Premier League champions presently boast just three centre-halves. Guardiola has said that he “isn’t sure” whether the Citizens will be able to add reinforcements in defence.
Is Kompany irreplaceable? Five things to know…
- Kompany made 265 appearances for City across an 11-year spell.
- He won 12 trophies at the club.
- He captained City to their first-ever Premier League in 2012, scoring a crucial winner against rivals Manchester United in April.
- He popped up with another crucial strike against Leicester last season, scoring a 30-yard screamer to win the game.
- The past few seasons were plagued by injury for Kompany, and City often struggled when he was out of the side.
When asked whether he would sign a central defender or two by reporters, Guardiola said: “There is a chance but I don’t know if it will be possible. We have three good central defenders, Fernandinho can play in that position, so we will see.
“We are so happy in the squad that we have. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the end of the market; if the players still here are going to stay or if players are going to come.
“I’m delighted with the players we have.”
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A potential weakness next season
City were imperious defensively last season: they conceded just 23 goals all season and kept a whopping 20 clean sheets. Kompany, to be fair, was not necessarily crucial to this. He made just 17 appearances in the league in 2018/19 – the least of all of City’s centre backs.
However, Kompany’s presence off the pitch cannot be quantified. A natural leader, he offers off the pitch what he does on it. It is likely that David Silva will take over as captain, but Guardiola has said that he will let City’s players choose.
The outgoing Belgian also offered depth. As things stand, City only have Nicolas Otamendi, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones as defensive options, with Eliaquim Mangala also leaving the club on a free transfer.
Their quality is undoubted, but a few suspensions or injuries next season could see them quite short.