It has been only five games into the new Premier League season but Manchester City are already struggling with an injury crisis in the central defensive department. The Premier League holders, who sit second behind Liverpool on the table, have already lost two of their key central defenders through injuries.
French defender Aymeric Laporte had to undergo a knee operation following an injury in the 4-0 triumph over Brighton & Hove Albion before the international break, whereas John Stones has recently entered the treatment room with a muscular problem, which will keep him out of action for around a month.
As such, Nicolas Otamendi is currently regarded as the only senior central defender in the club’s ranks and manager Pep Guardiola recently opted to field midfielder Fernandinho at the heart of the backline during 3-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League opener.
While Stones is likely to return to action towards the end of October, Guardiola may still want to add an experienced head in the central defence this winter, particularly with the Englishman tending to carry niggles every now and then.
Here are two options Guardiola could consider for January…
Jose Gimenez – Atletico Madrid:
Gimenez has been in the European scene for a while and he has already established himself as one of the best defenders in the Spanish La Liga. The Uruguay international’s physical and aerial abilities are regarded as the strong points to his play and those qualities make him the perfect fit for the Premier League. At the age of 24, Gimenez has more than a decade of service left at the highest level and that suits the Citizens, who have recently switched the focus to pursuing young and experienced players.
Milan Skriniar – Inter Milan:
Skriniar has been a regular mention in the speculation column over the past year with a number of high-profile clubs including Manchester City and Barcelona linked. Still, he has remained committed to the Nerazzurri, who are currently leading the standings in the new Serie A season. Similarly to Gimenez, the former Sampdoria man is just 24 years of age. The Slovakian has strong distribution skills and the tendency to play from the back and that’s a quality which may excite Guardiola. Besides this, Skriniar has played in the defensive midfield role for his nation with success in the past and his versatility should be an added bonus.
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