Manchester City injury worry: Could Pep Guardiola rue not signing defender in the summer with Aymeric Laporte set for sidelines?

Did Pep Guardiola make a mistake not signing a defender for Man City in the summer?
Did Pep Guardiola make a mistake not signing a defender for Man City in the summer?

Could the potentially serious injury to Aymeric Laporte see Pep Guardiola rue not signing a centre back in the summer? Guardiola says he has options.

Laporte suffered what looked like a serious knee injury during City's comfortable 4-0 win against Brighton, and depending on the extent of the 25-year-old's problem it could spell danger for the champions.

Guardiola decided against splashing out £80m to sign Harry Maguire and that meant that they did not replace Vincent Kompany, who returned to Belgium with Anderlecht following his fantastic spell at the Etihad.

The international break comes at a welcome time for Guardiola in this instance as Nicolas Otamendi is currently the only fit specialist centre half with John Stones also missing the Brighton game through injury.

That meant Fernandinho was pressed into emergency action once again, and the Brazilian midfielder could be an option going forward depending on the fitness of both Laporte and Stones.

Pep defends decision

Pep Guardiola: Manchester City boss cannot believe his luck after being denied a late winner v Spurs
Pep Guardiola: Man City boss prepared to find solutions in defence

Guardiola has defended his decision not to sign a defender this summer, and says the club were unwilling to splash out the sums mentioned by clubs for their players.

"We could not buy like the opponents or (for what) teams ask for these players," said Guardiola.

"Of course we spent a lot two seasons ago - but last season one player, this season a little bit more, so we could not pay the money wanted.

"But we have an alternative and sometimes when that happens, the team unites better and we are going to find solutions to do that."

Already missing Leroy Sane to a long-term injury, losing Laporte to something similar would be an even bigger blow given he was City's best and more consistent defender last season.

Walker also an option at centre back

Fernandinho has always been a back-up option, and he can be used there more often now summer signing Rodri seems to have settled well into the holding midfield role, while Guardiola has also pinpointed Kyle Walker as a centre-back option.

"It happens because he is a nice guy, because he is open minded," Guardiola said of Fernandinho.

"He is a typical captain, he thinks for the group more than himself.

"He is a guy who is incredibly respected in the locker room and by our staff and that is why he can do it. One day (if we) need to put Kyle Walker like a central defender, he is going to play central defender."

Spain international Rodri, while expressing sympathy for Laporte, was also happy with the options City have at their disposal.

"This is football, this is how it works but I think we have enough in the team to cope with it," said Rodri.

"Fernandinho is a great player, he can play also as a centre-back. He did very well there and took on the responsibility to take the ball, so it's good for the team."

Odds via Sky Bet and correct as of 1500 BST on 02/09/19

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