Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

No Regrets as Pep Gets Set for Test of Resources

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

No Regrets as Pep Gets Set for Test of Resources

Article excerpt

PEP Guardiola has defended City's decision not to sign a central defender this summer, despite seeing his resources depleted even further by Aymeric Laporte's injury against Brighton.

The France centre-back was stretchered off in the first half of a 4-0 win against the Seagulls after sustaining what looked like a serious knee injury.

With John Stones not yet considered fit enough for a place in the matchday squad it was Fernandinho who replaced Laporte, for just his fourth appearance for the Blues in the centre of defence.

City lost captain Vincent Kompany this summer when he decided to return to Anderlecht as player/manager, and while they were interested in signing Harry Maguire from Leicester City, the Blues wouldn't pay the £80m fee the Foxes demanded, which United eventually paid.

We have an and sometimes that happens, unites Pep That has left Guardiola with only Laporte, Nicolas Otamendi and Stones as senior central defenders and with the former now fearing a long spell on the sidelines, City's resources will be put to the test.

But Guardiola said the club couldn't afford to sign a centre-back this summer and he's confident that having to survive without Laporte might actually help unite his squad.

"We could not buy like the opponents or teams offer us or ask for these players," he said.

"The club works incredibly well in all departments and sometimes we cannot afford it like other teams afford it and that is all.

"We pay a lot of money for a lot of players, that is why we have a depth of squad with huge quality but we cannot do, the club tell me, you have a limit, you cannot go forward.

"Maybe in the future but not now, you cannot do it. I say, ok, you cannot do it so we cannot do it so we are going with what we have.

"People believe still, 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. …

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