Aymeric Laporte is set to miss a significant amount of Manchester City’s season after undergoing surgery on a knee injury.
He sustained the injury in City’s 4-0 win against Brighton on Saturday after jarring his knee in a challenge with Adam Webster.
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Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte picked up an injury against Brighton Laporte had the surgery in Barcelona and the only shred of good fortune he had was that there was no damage to the anterior cruciate ligament.
In a statement, City said: “The surgery, carried out by Dr Ramon Cugat in Barcelona, was successful and a more detailed prognosis will be provided in due course.
“Everyone at City wishes Aymeric a full and speedy recovery.”
Aymeric Laporte is City’s first-choice defender The 25-year-old will be a huge miss for the club during his extended absence and will now leave Guardiola short of centre back options.
The Manchester club signed Laporte in January 2018 in a £57million deal from Athletic Bilbao.
In the season and a half he has been at the Etihad, he has already won five trophies and become an integral member of the squad.
Statistically, he has been Manchester City’s best defender in that time and has topped most defensive categories in Premier League games.
Laporte has made 130 clearances in that time with Nicolas Otamendi the closest on 110 and Vincent Kompany with 99.
The Frenchman has made 54 tackles, which is joint with Kyle Walker and Oleksandr Zinchenko, while he is only bettered in that department by Fernandinho (73) and Bernardo Silva (64).
The defender has also won 112 aerial duels, with Fernandinho second with 106. The rest of the City defence is well behind, with Walker, John Stones and Otamendi on 72, 71 and 61 respectively.
Laporte and Fernandinho lead the way on interceptions with 58 and 54 respectively.
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Aymeric Laporte was stretchered off against Brighton Laporte also made the joint most blocks last season, along with Kompany on 10.
The statistics show just how key he has been to City since he has joined and only Ederson has played more minutes than he has.
Guardiola is now likely to pair Otamendi and Stones in the centre of his defence but is one injury away from a full-blown defensive crisis.
With Kompany leaving for Anderlecht over the summer, the club are in need of more central defensive options.
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Should Stones or Otamendi pick up an injury then Fernandinho or Kyle Walker may need to be used as a makeshift centre-back.
This could have serious implications on the title race with the razor thin margins in the Premier League at the moment.
Losing a key player like Laporte could be the difference between City winning the title and handing Liverpool their first league crown for 30 years.
Laporte’s Premier League record
Clean sheets: 23
City did try to sign Harry Maguire over the summer but claimed they could not match the £80million paid by rivals Manchester United.
“We cannot afford it like other teams can afford it,” Guardiola said.
“I never complained about that. We paid a lot of money for a lot of players, that is why we have a deep squad with a lot of quality. But you have a limit. Maybe in the future, but right now we cannot do it.
“It is what it is. We are in the season and the guys need to step forward.
“If Kyle Walker has to play as a central defender, he will play as a central defender. We have to find solutions.”
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