Manchester City imagine they’ve uncovered the inheritor to dilapidated captain Vincent Kompany with the signing of Ruben Dias from Benfica – so could perchance he be the player to repair their defensive complications?
Portugal international centre-again Dias, 23, has joined Pep Guardiola’s side for £65m in the wake of City’s humbling 5-2 defeat by Leicester City on Sunday.
The 2018-19 Premier League champions done 18 capabilities in the again of winners Liverpool final season in their first advertising and marketing campaign following membership story Kompany’s departure.
City misplaced nine league video games final time-frame despite struggling most appealing six defeats mixed in some unspecified time in the future of the 2 earlier title-a success campaigns – and 6 in Guardiola’s first season guilty in 2016-17.
Dias has impressed in three years at Benfica, for whom he made 137 appearances, earning choice for Portugal’s 2018 World Cup squad at correct 21.
But is he the diagram in which to Guardiola’s concerns at the again?
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Why City spent £65m to land Dias
It’s no secret that signing a correct-sided central defender has been a precedence for Guardiola ever since Kompany’s departure left a foremost void in City’s defence in May perchance well even 2019.
The failure to stable a correct away substitute for his or her dilapidated skipper grow to be once, in spite of the total thing, considered as a foremost portion of City’s failure to scenario Liverpool for the title final season.
Guardiola regularly opted to utilize midfielder Fernandinho as a central defender over Nicolas Otamendi – who has moved to Benfica in a separate deal – and England’s John Stones, whereas accidents include restricted Aymeric Laporte to 15 league appearances since August 2019.
Sunday’s defeat grow to be once unchartered territory for Guardiola, nevertheless, as it grow to be once the first time in his 686-game profession as a manager that regarded as one of his aspects had conceded 5 targets. It grow to be once also the first time in 438 house video games that City include shipped 5.
Talking on City’s heart-broken defensive expose towards Leicester, Match of the Day 2 pundit Darren Fletcher acknowledged: “It’s correct classic defending however the gaps between each and every member of the again four were too good and there grow to be once an absence of dialog.
“It regarded treasure a again four that had never played collectively sooner than – which it grow to be once – but it also regarded treasure a again four that grow to be once lacking expertise – which it positively wasn’t.”
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‘Leader Dias is concept of as one of many explain’
Changing membership story Kompany, who led City to a first high-flight title since 1968 in some unspecified time in the future of his 11 years at Etihad Stadium – eight of which he spent as membership captain – is a frightening prospect for anybody.
But Dias has already demonstrated leadership qualities a ways beyond his years.
Having captained Portugal’s Below-19s at the 2016 European Championship, he went on to lead his nation at the U20 World Cup the following year sooner than earning his senior debut at 21 in May perchance well even 2018.
Now a habitual starter, he already has 19 caps to his identify and started in his nation’s International locations League final triumph towards the Netherlands final summer season.
Talking on his compatriot’s qualities, dilapidated Premier League manager Carlos Carvalhal told BBC World Carrier that Dias “is a leader”, a “balanced, strong player” who maintains “100% concentration”.
“It’s why he played in the Benfica first team at 19, 20,” he added. “He’s a gorgeous about a personality to [Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder] Bruno Fernandes, as an illustration, because he is a defender – Dias is less complicated talking to the americans round him and he understands what the manager needs.
“After [a match], because he is so concentrated, he is always talking with his colleagues about be taught the diagram in which to be less complicated. I judge he’ll be good at Manchester City.
“Comparing the qualities and age of the boy, I judge he is concept of as one of many explain centre-backs at the 2d.”
Has Guardiola stumbled upon the finest man?
Napoli’s Senegal captain Kalidou Koulibaly, 29, grow to be once Guardiola’s high target, nevertheless City weren’t willing to pay his £80m price mark – nor were they willing to meet Atletico Madrid’s £78m valuation of Uruguay international Jose Gimenez, 25.
Having also dominated out Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, and with one week of the summer season switch window closing, all roads ended in Dias.
At six years younger than Koulibaly and much less pricey than Gimenez, Dias provides a prolonged-time-frame investment – with time very worthy on his side if he hopes to emulate Kompany’s decorated quit, which incorporated four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and 4 League Cups.
His legacy at Benfica grow to be once evident as, after captaining and scoring for his side, he embraced his team-mates at the pause of his final game on Saturday.
Dias’ Portugal team-mate Jose Fonte told TalkSport: “Ruben is concept of as one of my favourite young centre-backs. He’s most appealing 23, but he shows good maturity.
“He has work ethic. He needs to be taught, he needs to give a purchase to. He observes the excellent defenders, he’s in luminous the game. It is acquisition for Manchester City. They’re getting a high, high player who needs to enhance and that’s the reason crucial.”
‘Dias and City face not doubtless level of scrutiny’
However, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, pundit Chris Sutton warned City’s new good-money signing will doubtless be beneath intense scrutiny and tension to straight bring in the Premier League.
“He has to strategy again and demonstrate himself and hit the bottom running,” Sutton acknowledged.
“It could perchance probably perhaps be sophisticated for him for the reason that scrutiny on him will doubtless be not doubtless. For his sake – and Manchester City’s sake – it is crucial to essentially hope that they’ve essentially done their due diligence on him and he will play neatly from the commence – since possibilities are you’ll perhaps furthermore imagine, if he misplaces a circulation or somebody dribbles previous him, somebody will say he’s a extinguish of money.
“City include build themselves beneath tension with the system of their defeat towards Leicester. There’ll doubtless be scrutiny and americans will doubtless be making an strive and comparing and asking how City are going to touch Liverpool this season. If City must uncover the league they must handle natty sheets, protect strongly and enact it rapidly.”
‘He grow to be once never City’s first different’ – prognosis
Decide Schofield, BBC World Carrier
Dias is the latest City recruit to include started lifestyles in Benfica’s Seixal academy, but not like compatriots Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo he’ll not be afforded a season to bed in.
Since Kompany’s departure in 2019, City include wished an authoritative, combative, correct-footed centre-again and the defeat by Leicester confirmed they are able to not wait any longer.
Dias grow to be once not City’s first different. They wished the done article but, with their relationship with Napoli irreparable after the Italian membership offered Jorginho to Chelsea in 2018, a deal for Koulibaly for much less than £70m always regarded not going.
This could perchance perhaps furthermore fair demonstrate greater industry even though. Dias is six years younger, much less pricey and provides City the different to dump Otamendi, 32, at the identical time.
Koulibaly’s bear has fluctuated deal reckoning on his defensive partner, whereas Dias has proven himself as a fixed performer in the three years since breaking into the Benfica first team, to boot to a leader – which City sorely need.