Ruben Dias has solely been at Manchester Metropolis a month however already he has given Pep Guardiola what no central defender may final season.
The 23-year-old was chosen because the belated successor to Vincent Kompany after the Belgian’s departure and a long-term damage to Aymeric Laporte final season uncovered the Blues on the again.
Whereas Metropolis are adamant that they’ve landed the best participant, it was in no way sure that Dias can be the chosen one; Kalidou Koulibaly and Jules Kounde have been among the many options checked out however it was the deal for Dias that offered itself in late August that finally satisfied Txiki Begiristain and the recruitment workforce.
Thrown straight in for a debut at Leeds, the early indicators have been encouraging and Pep Guardiola has been impressed by the previous Benfica man’s consistency and management.
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The Metropolis supervisor was speaking about Kyle Walker final week when he mentioned that “at this time the highest gamers are the gamers that may play each three days, 3 times per week, and never get injured” however his description definitely applies to Dias.
Towards Sheffield United, Dias began his sixth consecutive recreation for his new membership – successfully making himself an automated choose within the workforce that the coach doesn’t have to consider.
That quantity is as many as any centre-back managed final season as they struggled with out Kompany and Laporte. The Frenchman did play 5 in a row on the finish of the season and featured in 10 of the final 12 however by no means managed six consecutively.
Nicolas Otamendi did hit six whereas Fernandinho managed eight straight begins however shouldn’t be a centre-back, as evidenced by him returning to midfield for this season. Eric Garcia (3), John Stones (2) and Taylor Harwood-Bellis (1) didn’t come shut.
Kompany by no means truly managed greater than eight consecutive matches beneath Guardiola, and that got here within the 2016/17 season; his finest after that was 5 in his closing marketing campaign. John Stones (10) and Nicolas Otamendi (8) hit their private bests within the Centurions 12 months, whereas Laporte managed 14 in a row within the following season.
In a season the place Metropolis have already struggled with a number of accidents, and seen new signing Nathan Ake struck down with a groin damage after barely lacking a recreation for earlier membership Bournemouth, the consistency of Dias needs to be key for the Blues as they give the impression of being to construct Laporte again as much as full energy.
“Ruben has the physicality, lives his focussed mentality 24 hours a day and takes care of himself extremely properly,” Guardiola mentioned final week.
“That’s why he can recuperate rather well and Laporte earlier than the damage was this kind of participant, however now now we have to watch out about his bodily situation.”