Vincent Kompany, the Manchester City skipper, is without a doubt one of the top defenders in the Premier League.
Not only is he a solid organiser at the back, but his presence also helps to galvanise the team and they let in considerably fewer goals when he is present. Unfortunately, he has been plagued with various injuries during his time at the club and, it begs the question, will Pep Guardiola look to build around a new leader?
Kompany has suffered a whopping thirty-three injuries since joining City in 2008 and is currently sidelined with a groin strain which could see him miss the first four weeks of the new league season. Will Guardiola decide to bring in reinforcements or stick with what he has? Those who want to see how City lineup in their first game can buy tickets at www.ticketgum.com to watch them take on Sunderland at the Etihad on August 13th.
At the beginning of the 2015/16 campaign, The Citizens were in imperious form with Kompany on the side, as they won their first five games on the bounce without conceding a goal. Perhaps if Kompany had managed to stay fit, his team would have strolled to victory in the league without any problems, but it was as soon as he suffered his first muscle complaint that things started going downhill for the Sky Blues.
As it turned out, the Belgian only started 20 of City’s 58 games last season, and without him, the back-four were frequently calamitous and at the best of times, moderately OK. It is clear that when he is missing, the players often seem lost in defence. The bad news is, the 30-year-old has had to endure injury woes throughout his whole career, and City would be incredibly fortunate if he managed to stay fit for a full season.
Guardiola is sure to be more than tempted to bring in a similar player to Kompany that will have the same effect on the team. Looking at last season’s title winners, Leicester City, and one of the strongest challengers, Tottenham Hotspur, it is imperative for teams to have continuity at the back. Leicester’s Wes Morgan and Robert Huth formed a formidable partnership that paid dividends in the title run-in as the Foxes managed to continuously shut opponents out. Toby Alderweireld for Spurs was one of the stars of the last campaign, and his alliance with Jan Vertonghen was formidable. The 2014/15 champions, Chelsea, also showed the importance of a consistent defensive duo with John Terry and Gary Cahill as well.
Guardiola was interested in the Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte, indicating that he is in the market for a new centre-back. However, the player, who is currently injured, has signed a contract extension with the Spanish club until 2020.
There is no doubt that having an injury-free Kompany in the team would be better than bringing in a new player who is unfamiliar with the Premier League. But it seems highly unlikely that City’s captain will overcome these issues. It will be interesting to see how the player fits in Guardiola’s restructuring plans.by