In a sick and twisted moment of deja vu that further proves the universe has an incredibly poor sense of humor, Manchester City lost their number one center back, Aymeric Laporte, to an undisclosed injury during their thrilling 2-1 victory over Real Madrid inside the Bernabeu. The 25-year-old was forced to leave the Champions League contest 33 minutes in and was seen visibly upset as he left through the tunnel in Spain’s capital.
What makes this all the more depressing is that the French International had just returned to action on January 21st after he had suffered a catastrophic knee injury in August that kept him on the shelf for much of the season. After making his illustrious return, he lifted up a pretty average Manchester City defense to three clean sheets in Premier League action against the combined forces of Sheffield United, West Ham, and Leicester City.
Now with him possibly on the shelf once again, the question must be asked, “What does that mean for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City?” Well if you’re asking me, this means two things:
- Guardiola will be forced to play center defensive midfielder Fernandinho as his squad’s other center back, and he will play opposite guys like John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi, and youngster Eric Garcia.
- Manchester City’s defensive woes will return and they will struggle to keep up with opposing defenses both in the Prem and in the Champions League.
With all that being said, who knows whether or not Laporte will miss much time at all? His departure from the match was certainly necessary at the time given just how recent he had been injured, but the resulting panic on social media may be for not as Guardiola didn’t make any indication as to the extent of the knock after the match. He did say, however, “He’s injured. He’s had four or five months and it’s a problem when you come back, and he came back in this demanding game and we wanted him to be fit to the end.”
So I guess we’ll all have to hold our collective breaths and just hope that Laporte’s prognosis is a good one. Because without the Frenchman, Manchester City are painfully mortal.
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